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Posted in: Spinal fractures.

traumatic compression fracture

Started by siswou on 02/02/2010 1:15am

Dear All,
i am siswo from indonesia, i'm a man with 31 years old. three weeks ago, i got an accident, fall down from roof. i've got injured on my spine at vertebra lumbar 2. the doctor says that the compression facture on the spine is 20% for one side. the doctor advise me to do vertebroplasty, i was very happy at that time due to doctor explain that after using vertebroplasty can do activity anything but i'm afraid to do that after i read some article regrading risk of that. last night i consult to another doctor and he says that i'm not a candidate for vertebroplasty due to vertebroplasty to heal old man (osteoporosys), it cannot restore the compression facture to first form of spine, only make the spine harder. now i'm very confuse.
please advice me, must i do the vertebroplasty?

thanks & regards

siswo

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Dear Siswo...
20% loss or 20% that is left? Regarless, your second opinion was correct. The recommendation for these procedures are mainly for osteoporotic compression fracture... that is loss of height due to poor soft bone in the elderly. Doesn't work so well in younger people or after a trauma. Some people are trying them in patients like you and it may or may not work after all. The procedure that would correct your vertebral height is called kyphoplasty, not vertebroplasty (your doctor may be using the wrong terminology, but if he doesn't know the term, he shouldn't be offering the service.) Do a little research on the two procedures and you will see the different. Again, if you have a 20% compression fracture, a rigid or semirigid brace over 2-3 months should be good enough... even if you are 5mm shorter... hope that helps

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Siswo, I am Indonesian too. It was good that you looked for 2nd opinion. My dad is 79 years old. He fell down and fracture his T11. My dad was in real pain until the Indonesian doctor at the very good hospital at Jakarta recommended to have surgery to inject cement. I think this is vertebroplasty; one of the surgery type. Hope you didn't go through this. Before surgery, my dad was in pain, but still can walk and stand up with his feet. After surgery, he is not in pain, but he cannot move his body at all. there is no strength. Why? Still don't know. Any comments are welcome. It's been more than two months after the surgery, he can only do therapy, but he cannot move his body himself. Hope you feel better now. Good luck.

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I broke my back, or fractures the L3 in 1990. They werent really sure. They had me wear a plastic brace for months until my back seemed to heal enogh to return to work. I worked construction for several years after that until I was havng problems again and lots of pain. After xrays and mri's, they found that the L3 never healed and it looked like a compressed fracture. So they schedules me for a vertebroplasty proceedure. They told me that they were going to fill the void with a cement type liquid that would harden and make the vertibra solid. That was in 2002. After that, I was still having lot of pain and trouble walking. I would drag my left foot when I walked. For two years I went to doctors, therapist, head doctors, and many physical therapist. One day a doctor was in my physical therapist office and heard of my pain, and decided to talk with me. He ordered a MRI that day. He called me about a week later and set up a appointment to see him. The MRI showed that my L3 and bursted into my spine and out both sides compressing the two disk. He told me that if I didn';t have a proceedure, that my L3 might exploded or fall apart. So he refered me to a nero spec. at UCLA. I then had my first real surgery(Even though I had several proceedures before that) They decided to do a L2 -L5 spinal fusion with the two disk removed. They couldnt do anythng with the L3 because it was too unstable. My surgery was April 2004. I am in worse shape now then anytime before. I've since had two more surgeries. Anyway, to answer your question, vertebroplasty is really designed for the elderly. It is supposed to make the back stable after a accident. Most elderly cant not go through the long proceedure of a fusion. So they do the vertebroplasty instead. For me, it probable helped for a short time. If I was in a different line of work, I might not be in the shape that I'm in now.
It's a harmless proceedure. Outpatient. Only laid up for 1 or 2 days with very few stiches.

Good luck with youu back. If you are new to back proceedures, please please do the homework. Then talk to your family and friends. Then do the homework again. Don't make fast decisions just because you are tired of being in pain. There is go guarentee that surgery will fix you. One of my doctors told me that the back in like a black box. You can't see inside until they open you up. Then you are at the doctors mercy

Tim

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