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Spine Compression Fractures 


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Spine compression fractures occur when a spine bone (vertebra) collapses under pressure. They are most commonly caused by osteoporosis, a condition which causes bones to become weak and less dense. They can also be caused by traumatic injuries, like car crashes.

Spine compression fractures can be painful and cause permanent disfigurement in your back. However, two minimally invasive procedures, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, can help strengthen the bone and restore your posture.

At University of Miami Health System, our interventional radiologists provide these procedures to relieve pain and help improve your back function.


History and Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your back pain and check your spine for possible causes of pain.

Your doctor will take an X-ray image of your spine to look for compression fractures.


During both procedures, you will lie on your stomach. You may receive some sedation as well as local anesthetic around the spine bone that is damaged.

Your interventional radiologist will make a small incision above the vertebra. Using X-ray guidance, they will place a needle into the collapsed vertebra. If you are having kyphoplasty, the doctor will inflate a small balloon on the end of the needle. The balloon will create space within the collapsed vertebra, correcting deformities. Vertebroplasty does not use a balloon to open up space.

In both procedures, the doctor will inject a specialized bone cement. The cement will strengthen the bone, helping relieve pain and pressure. Your doctor can treat multiple bones in the same procedure if necessary.

Altogether, the procedure takes one to two hours. After a short recovery at the hospital, you can go home the same day as your procedure. You’ll be able to go back to your normal activities within two days and should begin experiencing pain relief quickly.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.

Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

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