What is a vertebral crush

According to experts in traumatology, a vertebral crushing is a fracture of the body of the vertebrae that is produced, fundamentally, by compression and, very frequently, by flexion movements of the trunk.

It is a very frequent type of fracture in older people, especially in women with osteoporosis, which causes bone fragility in general and in the dorsal and lumbar spine in particular. Although it is more frequent in women due to osteoporosis secondary to menopause, it also occurs in men in a proportion of 25% of cases.
This type of fracture can have different causes. The most frequent is the crushing or osteoporotic vertebral fracture, due to the fragility of the vertebrae and their loss of calcium and minerals. Osteoporosis tends to be more frequent in women, after menopause and, above all, after the age of 70. Also, although less frequently, in men of advanced age or with osteoporosis. Other causes that weaken the consistency of the vertebrae and favor fracture-crushing are tumors, both benign and malignant, vertebral metastases and metabolic diseases.

Surgical treatment

The treatment of this type of injury is conservative, using orthopedic braces, which vary according to the level of the fracture (dorsal, lumbar, dorso-lumbar spine), as long as the fracture is stable and does not tend to progressive deformity. In cases where the fracture is not stable, the deformity is important or the pain is not controlled with medical treatment, the indication is surgery.

Among the surgical treatments, kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive percutaneous surgical technique (by puncture, without the need to open the spine and with intraoperative image control with radioscopy), which consists of the introduction of a balloon inside the vertebra. Once introduced, it is inflated by injecting physiological saline to restore the height of the vertebra and create a space which is filled with acrylic cement to give it solidity and maintain its height.

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Kyphoplasty is a very common technique, with low surgical risk and very low complication rate, avoiding the risks and complications of open surgery. Radioscopic vision during the operation ensures the correct placement of the balloon and, subsequently, of the cement. It has an early recovery, being able, usually, to get up 8-10 hours after surgery, and hospital discharge occurs within 24 hours without the need for the use of corsets or other support.