Recent studies have revealed that surgery may not be a better option to treat spinal fractures and so non-surgical methods are the best choice.

A new study of Medicare patients conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle found that surgery may not be the best treatment for spine fractures. The researchers found that fractures due to compression of the spine cannot be resolved any better with surgery than with conventional treatments.

Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures in the vertebral column, which can increase the disability and result in early mortality. Spinal augmentation involves the injection of acrylic bone cement into the vertebrae to fill osteoporotic fractures. This reduces pain and improves mobility, and according to some, reduces the risk of death in patients with spinal fractures. However, recent research points out that these perceived benefits could be the result of a placebo effect.

Higher Rate of Hospitalization among Spinal Augmentation Patients

The University of Washington study was based on medical billing data during 2002 and 2006 for Medicare patients who were approximately 80 years old. It covered 10,541 people who had spinal augmentation for back bone fractures and 115,851 people who took more conventional treatment. Conservative treatment for back pain and/or spinal fractures generally involves pain medication, bed rest, and sometimes, wearing girdles or back bracing. These measures may reduce pain but cannot repair the fracture.

The researchers found that compared with people who had conservative therapy, those who underwent spinal augmentation did not benefit from reduced risk of mortality or major complications. Though issues such as cardiac arrest, pneumonia and stroke were fewer among spinal augmentation patients within the 30 days following the discovery of their fracture, one year major complications were noticed in about 29 percent of patients in both groups.

In fact, the study noted that the rate of hospitalization and likelihood of admission to an intensive care unit or a nursing home was higher among people who had the vertebral augmentation procedure.

Dealing with and Preventing Osteoporotic Fractures

Getting a chiropractic evaluation is a good idea for spinal fractures that have healed with conservative treatment and are deemed stable. Studies have shown that expert chiropractic manipulation can help rule out any lingering joint restriction and sublaxation or misalignments of the spine that put pressure on the spinal nerves.

Prevention is better than cure. Older adults can reduce the risk of slips and falls that lead to back and other injuries by enrolling in a slip and fall prevention program offered by a multi-specialty healthcare center. An established facility would offer a wide range of non-invasive procedures including chiropractic, rehabilitation services, and physiotherapy to help evaluate and treat musculoskeletal injuries, including back pain.

Author's Bio: 

HealthQuest, located in Brooklyn, New York offers services such as neurology, Non-surgical spinal decompression,physical therapy, rehabilitation and pain management. HealthQuest’s chiropractic care is one of the best ways to maintain your spine health and your immune system performance at optimum level.