Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass and is more common in postmenopausal women. Not only are the mineral components (such as calcium and phosphorus) reduced, but also the organic components (such as protein) called bones. About 15-20 million people suffer from osteoporosis, and more than 500,000 patients each year have spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Minimal or no trauma can cause these spine fractures.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Back pain is the most common symptom. X-ray examination shows wedge-shaped or compressive changes in the vertebral body. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or tomography (CT) can be used to further evaluate the fracture. Definitive diagnosis of osteoporosis is very important, as infections, other metabolic bone diseases, and benign or malignant bone tumors can all show similar symptoms. The extent of osteoporosis can only be estimated by X-rays, and must be detected by a specific bone density, or in some cases, the presence of osteoporosis by bone biopsy.
Fortunately, most spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis can be controlled with medication for pain, but once osteoporosis is identified, potential osteoporosis should also be recognized. Treatment of osteoporosis is rapidly evolving. The combined use of calcium, vitamin D and estrogen is controversial. Calcitonin is used in some cases to suppress the loss of minerals in bone, and fluorine is also gradually used to try to increase bone mass. Recently, bisphosphonates have been used to maintain or even increase bone mass, such as Ethyl trans-4-oxo-2-butenoate, the main raw material of Minodronic Acid.
In addition to medications, other methods, such as wearing a brace on the back, can help control pain and prevent the deformity from getting worse. Although the wedge shape of the vertebral body cannot be changed by wearing a brace, supporting the spine by the brace can reduce secondary muscle spasms.
In rare cases, surgery may be needed to control pain, improve deformity, or relieve compression of nerve roots or spinal cord. New techniques for treating vertebral compression include vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. In vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected into the vertebral body to increase bone strength. In kyphoplasty, the height of the vertebral body is increased by an expander, and bone cement is injected again to increase the strength of the spine and improve the height of the vertebral body. Both procedures require at least sedation and local anesthesia, but sometimes general anesthesia is required. The operation is performed through a minimally invasive incision under fluoroscopy. As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks.