Multiple compression fractures

In these MRI slices of a 70-year-old lady, you will see multiple compression fractures from T12 to L5, every single vertebra. She is a tough lady who travels a lot, despite her pain and limitations.

She presents to me, referred by her chiropractor, to see if I can help her at all. She is not a candidate for any surgical treatment. In fact, it should be noted, in case you don’t already know this, just because someone has pain, does not mean that surgery can help. When providers say that surgery is a last resort ( in most cases; there are exceptions), it means that all non-surgical treatments should be considered, and tried, if they might help. But that does not mean that surgery is a possibility if all else fails. For every problem that fails to improve without surgery, the surgeon must ask, is there a problem that I can see on imaging, that I am pretty certain, explains the patient’s pain? And many times the answer is, “no”. Hence, no surgery is offered to the patient. And, for those patients, they can feel hopeless, because no one can help them. Yes, in the real world, sometimes there is no apparent solution to pain. Such is the world of chronic pain patients.

Multiple compression fractures

In this patient I thought is was strange that, after compression fractures in all of her vetebrae, and documentation from previous bone density studies, that she was osteoporotic, she was not being treated for that. My obvious concern is that she will continue to get compression fractures, and one day, she’ll progress to worse deformity, worse pain and possible damage to her spinal cord, from retropulsion of boney fragments.

So I’ll get medical records from her various doctors to find out what is happening with that management, and then encourage her to get something done to prevent further fractures.

If I can help you with your neck or back problem, call me at 404-558-4015.