Vertebral (spinal) compression fractures can occur as a result of the trauma of an accident. Not much could be done medically to treat these injuries until now. The medical journals are beginning to discuss a new procedure that uses injected bone cement to relieve pain. One of the journal articles is abstracted below.
Anterior spinal column augmentation with injectable bone cements – Verlaan JJ – Biomaterials – 01-JAN-2006; 27(3): 290-301
A vertebral fracture, whether originating from osteoporosis or trauma, can be the cause of pain, disability, deformation and neurological deficit. The treatment of vertebral compression fractures has, for many years until the advent of vertebroplasty, consisted of bedrest and analgesics. Vertebroplasty is a percutaneous technique during which bone cement is injected in a vertebral body to provide immediate pain relief by stabilization. Inflatable bone tamps can, prior to the injection of cement, be used to create a void in the vertebral body, in which case the technique is known as balloon vertebroplasty (or kyphoplasty). The chance of extracorporal cement leakage is smaller for balloon vertebroplasty than for vertebroplasty. Some authors also claim to have gained some correction in vertebral body height or angulation. Both interventions can be used for several indications, including osteoporotic compression fractures and osteolytic lesions of the vertebral body….and also for traumatic burst fractures in combination with pedicle screw instrumentation….The clinical results of (balloon-) vertebroplasty are favorable with 85-95% of all patients experiencing immediate and long-lasting relief of pain. Serious complications are relatively rare but include neurological deficit and pulmonary embolism.