The bones of the back become so brittle that they eventually collapse. It's obvious the patient begins to stoop. What we can't see is the terrible pain and breathing trouble that comes when the back buckles like that.
Here's what's new. It's called Balloon Kyphoplasty. In this surgery, a small balloon is inflated between the vertebrae then deflated and removed. Then, that space is filled with bone cement. It's kind of like an internal cast to lift and hold the vertebrae back in place.
Dr. Robert Carr, an orthopedic surgeon, says the results are dramatic. "It gives them almost immediate pain relief really after we do the procedure within the first hour or two the people are feeling much better. They can tell a difference and their back pain is better and by the next day their doing their normal activities," says Dr. Carr.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a spinal fracture, ask your doctor about Balloon Kyphoplasty.