Many people who suffer from lower back pain want to explore nonsurgical options as an alternative to spine surgery. Depending on the individual’s condition and diagnosis, we offer nonsurgical options that range from physical therapy, bracing, injections, and minimally invasive procedures to provide back pain relief.
For those with lower back pain caused by a tailbone fracture, sacroplasty is one such option.
What is sacroplasty?
Sacroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat sacral fractures, which occur in the sacrum (or tailbone) just below the spine. The goal of this procedure is to reduce pain and improve stability.
What are the symptoms of sacral fractures?
Radiologic imaging, specifically of the tailbone, is used to diagnose a sacral fracture. The chief complaint of a sacral fracture is lower back pain. Symptoms are fairly nonspecific, and the fracture could go unnoticed for many years. Often, there’s a specific incident that points to the beginning of the pain, but it’s usually non-traumatic, and people tend to not seek help.
In addition to lower back pain, symptoms of a sacral fracture may include:
- Pelvic pain
- Reduction in mobility
- Pain that gets worse when doing heavy lifting but is less severe when lying down
- Pain that extends from the tailbone to the legs, groin, buttocks and thighs
What causes this type of spine fracture and who is at risk?
The leading cause of a sacral fracture is osteoporosis, which is most common in older women. Though rare, a spine fracture of this nature could happen to anyone. Other factors that put people at greater risk include radiation exposure, arthritis, third-term pregnancy and erosion caused by chronic steroid use.
How does sacroplasty treat pain caused by sacral fractures?
The sacroplasty procedure is very similar to a vertebroplasty. While the vertebroplasty procedure injects a “cement” in between two vertebrae, sacroplasty injects cement directly into the sacrum and sacral fracture. This stabilizes the fracture and provides pain relief. Patients usually see immediate results with this nonsurgical, 30-minute procedure.
Learn more about sacroplasty for spine fractures in this article by Healthy KC Magazine.
For helpful information about other non-invasive treatment options for back pain, click on a topic below:
- How do Epidural Steroid Injections Relieve Back and Neck Pain?
- Will Radiofrequency Ablation Treat Lower Back Pain?
- Lower Back Pain: What is the Difference Between Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?
- How Does the Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Procedure Treat Spinal Stenosis?
- Is Spinal Cord Stimulation the Right Treatment for my Back Pain?
For specific questions or concerns on these or other neck and back conditions, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
C. Lan Fotopoulos, M.D. is an interventional physiatrist specializing in minimally invasive and interventional procedures in the treatment of spinal disorders, including epidural injections, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation and sacroplasty.
The medical information contained in the Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics website is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding of orthopedic conditions. This information should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific medical or surgical treatment plan. As each patient may have specific symptoms or associated problems, the treatment regimen for a specific patient may not be the proper treatment for another.
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