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Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures: What You Should Know

Have you had sudden back pain or a decrease in height? You may have already experienced a spinal fracture.

These fractures are especially common in people with osteoporosis or cancer. In the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, each year 700,000 patients suffer from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. In fact, one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

“You can step wrong and get a fracture. It’s that common,” said Dr. Gautam Dehadrai, an interventional radiologist at Norman Regional Health System.

Unfortunately, two out of three spinal fractures go undiagnosed and untreated due in part to lack of awareness about osteoporosis and available treatment options.

Signs you may have a spinal fracture include:

• Acute pain or a sudden increase in pain

• Loss of height

• Loss of mobility

• Tenderness in the spine

People who are the most susceptible to spinal fractures include women over the age of 50, people with osteoporosis, people with cancer, and people with a low bone mineral density. In order to treat this common fracture, Norman Regional and Dr. Dehadrai are offering Balloon Kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Harris and neurosurgeons Drs. Kim Pratt and Clay Cochran also perform Balloon Kyphoplasty at Norman Regional.

Balloon Kyphoplasty is designed to correct spinal deformity due to osteoporotic fractures, significantly reducing back pain and improving a patient’s ability to return to daily activities. This procedure is being done worldwide with great success and these physicians are proud to offer it locally here at Norman Regional Hospital.

"In most cases, fixing the fracture with the kyphoplasty procedure is the best option for patients. Evidence shows that this procedure is superior to traditional methods of bed rest, bracing, and medication. Results are immediate with no long term recovery process,” said Dr. Dehadrai. “I’ve had patients hop off the table, there is immediate pain relief.”

Dr. Dehadrai performs the Balloon Kyphoplasty procedure at Norman Regional Hospital while a patient is under local anesthesia. The procedure takes 45 minutes and most patients leave the hospital that same day. In most cases, Medicare provides coverage for Balloon Kyphoplasty. Other insurance companies may also provide coverage.

The consequences of untreated fractures can be devastating. Once a patient suffers one spinal fracture, the risk of suffering a second fracture increases five-fold. Left unattended, many fractures can result in an exaggerated rounded curvature of the spine, called kyphosis or dowager’s hump. This condition is painful and debilitating — making walking, eating, sleeping, and even breathing painful and difficult.

Diagnosing such fractures is the first step toward providing patients who have been impacted by this devastating disease state with hope for treatment. Talk to your physician today about your back pain. For a referral to a physician, call Norman Regional’s 24-hour physician referral line at (405) 440-8802.

Learn More:
Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures: What You Should Know
9 a.m. Thursday, May 23
NRH Education Center, 901 N. Porter

In honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, Dr. Gautam Dehadrai, an interventional radiologist at Norman Regional, will present “Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures: What You Should Know.” Dr. Dehadrai performs Balloon Kyphoplasty, which is designed to repair spinal compression fractures, reducing back pain, significantly improving mobility, and increasing overall quality of life. Learn more about this procedure and how it can treat spinal fractures. Please register by calling HealthLink at 440-8802. Refreshments provided.

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Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144