Back pain can be severe or mild. It can happen suddenly or the pain can worsen over time. Sudden, severe back pain, especially in older women, may signal a spinal compression fracture. Anyone with significant back pain -- especially a woman who is near or over age 50 -- should see their physician. Most compression fractures in women over 50 are due to osteoporosis and treatment can help reduce the chance of further compression fractures. In fact, nearly 700,000 spinal fractures occur each year and at least 25 percent of women over the age of 50 will suffer from one or more spinal fractures during their lifetime.
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
This minimally invasive non-surgical procedure is used to treat vertebral compression fractures caused by a progressive weakening of the bone, or osteoporosis. Performed on an outpatient basis, an interventional radiologist injects a surgical bone cement into the crushed vertebrae to stabilize it. Often, more than one crushed vertebrae can be treated in a single one-hour procedure.