SpineJack: Silver Cross Now Offers Revolutionary Treatment for Osteoporosis Fractures
Nearly one million Americans suffer from extreme back pain caused by compression fractures of the vertebrae. And while the condition itself can be treated, recovery can be slow and painful.
A new procedure at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox is working to change that.
The tiny SpineJack® device is similar to a car jack and is inserted directly into the affected vertebrae to successfully treat compression fractures of the vertebrae.
Just like its name suggests, the tiny SpineJack® device is similar to a car jack and is inserted directly into the affected vertebrae. Then, it’s expanded to restore it close to its original size before being kept in place by bone cement.
“Over 750,000 osteoporosis patients a year experience a vertebral compression fracture. The elderly suffer the most from this type of fracture,” said
Feraz Rahman, M.D., interventional radiologist on staff at Silver Cross. “It’s a painful condition that limits mobility and can decrease a patient’s lifespan. Fortunately, advancements in medical technology and imaging have produced new minimally invasive treatment options.”
Interventional radiologists like Dr. Rahman use medical imaging to guide minimally invasive procedures that diagnose, treat and cure many kinds of conditions, including vertebroplasty, which was introduced in the United States in the 1990s. In this procedure, cement is injected into the affected vertebra to stabilize the fractured fragments and reduce pain. In the balloon kyphoplasty procedure, a balloon is first inflated to create a cavity for the cement and attempt to restore some of the height lost in the fracture.
Fast forward to 2018, when the SpineJack® implantable fracture reduction system was made available in the United States as a new type of kyphoplasty. SpineJack® is an implantable titanium device that resembles a diamond-shaped car jack that lifts a car to change a tire.
“Using specialized tools and X-ray guidance, the SpineJack® implant is inserted into the fractured vertebral body and expanded to restore the bone closer to its normal height,” Dr. Rahman added. “Once the implants are in position, the jacks are left behind and bone cement is injected to stabilize the vertebra. The combination of the SpineJack® and bone cement provides strength to the structure of the affected bone. Patients can experience pain relief within just a few days.”
SpineJack® has been available as a treatment option in Europe for over 10 years, and data is showing beneficial outcomes as people are getting back on their feet and moving again. Patients treated with an implantable SpineJack® were found less likely to experience future vertebral compression fractures above or below the original fracture – good news for those at high risk.
About the Spine and Osteoporosis
The human spine is a miraculous structure made up of 33 bones or vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. When they’re healthy, the vertebrae allow us freedom of movement to bend, twist and walk upright.
But when they’re injured or affected by disease, the damaged vertebrae can cause pain and debilitation.
One type of spinal trauma is a vertebral compression fracture. This kind of fracture is a painful condition where the block-like portion of the vertebra collapses. This can happen in normal bone through severe trauma such as a car accident, but is much more common when the bone is previously weakened. Bone can be weakened by tumors or cancer, but in most cases the culprit is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis occurs in over 10 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. As the disease progresses, bones decrease in density and become fragile and brittle. This degenerative process increases the risk of bone fractures with falls and minor trauma. In severe cases the bones can become so fragile that mild stresses such as bending over to pick up an object; or sneezing or coughing could cause a fracture.
For more information about SpineJack®, call the Interventional Radiology office at Silver Cross Hospital at 815-900-9060.