A common condition of the aging process, osteoporosis, or loss of bone density, can have long-term effects on your health if left untreated. As you lose bone density, you increase your risk for spine injuries and fall-related problems like fractures. If you have osteoporosis, talk to your neurosurgeon to learn more about the spine-related problems you may experience and the treatments available to treat them.
While many associate osteoporosis with broken hips or wrists, spinal fractures are among the most common problems caused by bone density loss. Of these osteoporosis-related spinal fractures, many are compression fractures. Compression fractures can result in significant back pain and are aggravated by standing or walking. Non-surgical treatments like a back brace may be used to help support and stabilize the spine.
As osteoporosis progresses, patients often begin to hunch over and display poor posture. In some cases, this is a result of weakening bones that are unable to hold up a patient’s upper body. In others, this hunching could be the result of a compression fracture caused by osteoporosis. These fractures generally occur in the upper section of the spine, and the resulting pain and weakening can lead to a hunched carriage.
Osteoporosis-related spine problems like compression fractures and poor posture can be treated in various ways. Non-surgical options include simple rest, a back brace, and medications that may help to treat bone density loss and alleviate painful symptoms. If these approaches are unsuccessful, your spine surgeon may then recommend surgical treatment. These surgical procedures generally involve adding bone-like cement to the spine to fill cracks and missing volume in the vertebrae. The result is not only a stronger spine but also some correction of any spine deformities that may have developed.
To learn more about the consequences of osteoporosis on the spine, schedule an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.