Kraus Back & Neck Institute Spine PainPain Treatment - Kraus Back & Neck Institute Kraus Back & Neck Institute : 281.446.3876 (281.44.NEURO)
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At the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI), we specialize in non-surgical as well as surgical treatments of Back and Neck Pain.
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Conditions

Compression Fractures

A compression fracture of the back refers to a broken vertebra in the spine due to a traumatic accident or secondary to osteoporosis. In accidents or injuries, a heavy load on the vertebrae results in the fracture of the vertebral body. Patients suffering from osteoporosis have weak bones which may result in a compression fracture while performing their normal routine activities even in the absence of an injury. Other causes of compression fractures include various types of cancer, tumors, or long-term treatment with certain medications.

Symptoms

Back pain is the predominant symptom in patients with compression fracture. Patients with osteoporosis, suffering from multiple compression fractures, may present with abnormal curvature of the spine known as kyphotic deformity or more commonly “hunchback”. This results from the compression of the front portion of the vertebrae while the back portion is normal. As the back portion of the vertebrae is not affected, there are usually no symptoms of spinal nerve compression.

Patient with compression fractures may also lose their overall height, as a result of a reduction in the length of the spinal column.

Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of compression fractures helps to avoid development of any fresh fractures, spinal deformities, or functional abnormalities. A diagnosis of compression fracture comprises of the following steps:

  • Medical and family history of the patient
  • Physical and neurological examinations
  • Testing of reflexes to evaluate muscle weakness, sensitivity, and other signs of neurological injury
  • Other diagnostic techniques such as X-rays, CT scan, MRI scans or myelography may also be employed to confirm the diagnosis

Plain X-rays help in identification of a compression fracture, whereas CT and MRI scans are more precise techniques which help to visualize the bone, intervertebral disc and neuronal structures.

Treatment

The causative factors for the development of compression fractures should be avoided. Usually treatment of compression fractures comprises of medications such as analgesics, activity modification and bracing. The treatment of osteoporosis includes regular exercise, calcium supplementation and medication.

In severe cases, vertebroplasty is recommended. In this procedure, the lost height of the vertebrae is restored by injecting bone cement into the vertebra, which stabilizes the fracture and prevents further collapse. About 8-10 weeks may be required for the complete healing of a compressed fracture.

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Gary Kraus, MD - Back & Neck Institute
Masaki Oishi, MD
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12121 Richmond Ave., Ste. 324 Houston, Texas 77082      MAP
3391 West Park
Houston, Texas 77005     MAP
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Houston, Texas 77024     MAP
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Humble, Texas 77338     MAP
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Katy, Texas 77493       MAP
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