Host:


What is a compression fracture, and do you need surgery to repair it? Dr. Kris Parchuri, orthopedic surgeon from Spine and Orthopedic Specialists is here on the purple coach on Tulsa Daily. Explain what is a compression fracture, and why does it occur mostly in women?

Dr. Parchuri:

Compression fractures occur in post-menopausal women, because it’s associated with osteoporosis. Most post-menopausal women develop osteoporosis. As they do, they lose the bone density associated with their spinal column, in other areas as well. What happens is, it becomes like an eggshell, very brittle. This bone can essentially collapse, or crush, which results in a compression fracture.

Host:

Ouch.

Dr. Parchuri:

It can occur with simple tasks such as gardening, but usually it’s associated with falls.

Host:

Is it preventable with vitamins, or is it something that is going to happen, probably one way or another?

Dr. Parchuri

You can prevent bone mass from decreasing by utilizing medications and exercising and staying active. Unfortunately, some degree of osteoporosis is associated with almost every woman, and all of us actually, as we age.

Host:

What’s that next step? We come see you, and then what happens?

Dr. Parchuri:

Initially we take an x ray. We identify the severity of the compression fracture, if it’s pushing on the spinal cord or the nerve. We usually recommend a brace, anti-inflammatories, pain control, and rest. If after a certain trial of those treatments don’t work, then we can go in and actually fix the compression fracture by using a procedure known as a kyphoplasty, or vertebroplasty, where we inject a small amount of cement into that area that’s being compressed, and it keeps it from being compressed further.

Host:

That’s interesting. It occurs a lot more than we probably expect, right?

Dr. Parchuri:

It’s a very common problem, yes, unfortunately.

Host:

Call Spine and Orthopedic Specialists at 539-664-4448 for more information, or online at SOSTULSA.com. I’m KC Lupp. That’s Tulsa Daily on Fox 23.