Spinal compression fractures often ignored, misunderstood

Spinal compression fractures often ignored, misunderstood

Backaches and pain can be a sign of a slight spine fracture on your vertebrate.

Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Miami neurosurgeon, will lead a seminar for physicians focused on spinal compression fractures on Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m., at Season’s 52 Restaurant on Miracle Mile.

The CME event, sponsored by Coral Gables Surgery Center, is targeted to internal medicine physicians, gynecologists, rheumatologists, and geriatric and pain management specialists.

For many folks over 55 years of age, back pain is regarded as a sign of getting older. Plenty of health messages seem to suggest that arthritis is the natural culprit of back pain, and with targeted medications this pain can be minimized.

However, back aches and pain can be a sign of a slight spine fracture on your vertebrate — the bones that make up your spine. When these bones get soft, as a result of osteoporosis, especially in post-menopausal women over the age of 50, multiple small fractures can lead to a collapse of the vertebrae, and this is referred to as a spinal compression fracture.

Dr. Jacobson has treated hundreds of spinal compression fractures throughout his professional career and is embarking on providing educational events for the community as well as his colleagues. There are now minimally invasive vertebral augmentation procedures — referred to as Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty — that are quick, safe, and performed on an outpatient basis.

The majority of spinal compression fractures are never diagnosed because patients blame it on their age or arthritis, and don’t even mention it to their physicians. Without the help of a doctor to properly diagnose the condition, it goes untreated. If the hairline fractures do not heal on their own, the condition worsens, other fractures can develop, increased breathing and lung problem can arise, over dependence on pain medications, depression and premature death can occur. Studies indicate that untreated compression fractures increased mortality by 23 percent in the elderly.

“Patients get excellent pain relief from an outpatient procedure,” Dr. Jacobson says.

Dr. Jacobson will highlight the need to control osteoporosis, risk factors, proper diagnostic tests, and distinguish non-surgical versus surgical techniques to alleviate the pain due to spinal compression fractures. A community seminar on Osteoporosis and Spinal Compression Fractures is planned for January 2015.

How to know if your back pain is serious:
• Back pain has lasted more than 6 weeks.
• If you are over 70 years old.
• If you have experienced a minor or serious trauma, such as a fall, car accident or slipped on steps.
• If you have lost weight unexpectedly.
• If you are running a fever, however slight.
• If you feel numbness or a tingling feeling on your back, waist or legs.
• If your neck or back pain is only at night, or more pronounced at nighttime.

For more information on these educational events visit www.coralgablessurgerycenter.com or call 305-461-3229 to reserve a seat.

Coral Gables Surgery Center is state-ofthe- art, multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center that operates in Suite 400 at Douglas Professional Center at 2645 Douglas Rd. The 9,000-squre-foot facility was opened in 2003 and comprised of over 35 physicians, credentialed to perform outpatient surgical procedures in general surgery, gynecology, neuro/spine, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastics, podiatry, and urology. For more information, visit www.coralgablessurgery.com.

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