By Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho)
When the bone is soft or osteoporotic, it can fracture with trivial injury or even without injury. Spine bone is one of the most commonly affected bones in osteoporotic fracture. It can be debilitating. But it doesn’t need to affect you. You can prevent osteoporosis by having regular screening and early treatment.
Mild fracture can heal by itself. The pain may not be too bad.
In severe fracture, the back pain can be very excruciating to the extent that the patient is unable to sit, stand and walk for a period of time. If the pain prevents the patient from getting out of bed, surgical treatment is required. The surgery depends on the stability of the spinal column. If the spine is stable, the patient needs cement injection (vertebroplasty) to strengthen the bone. If the spine is not stable, bigger surgery is required with the use of spinal implants. Surgical treatment for severe fracture has a high success rate. Immediate stability of the spinal column after surgery will result in significant reduction of pain.
Osteoporotic treatment to strengthen the bone is important regardless whether surgery is required. This is to reduce the risk of having another osteoporotic fracture.
Dr Tony Setiobudi is an Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), Singapore. He treats bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve compression and spine problems such as back & neck pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine tumor & infection, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis fracture, spinal stenosis and slipped disc.