Up to 700,000 spine fractures in the U.S. each year are caused by osteoporosis. And many of them occur spontaneously or with minimal activity, such as coughing or sneezing. Spine fractures commonly occur in the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spinal column. In fact, spine fractures are twice as common as hip and wrist fractures, which are frequently associated with osteoporosis.
Spine fractures are painful, causing back pain at the site of the fracture. They also can lead to a “humped” back or a “bent over” look, a condition known as kyphosis, resulting in decreased range of motion and debility.
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, you’re at risk for spine fracture. In fact, just a 10% loss of bone density doubles your risk of experiencing a spine fracture.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. The Spine Fracture & Bone Health Clinic at Neurosurgery One in Littleton, Colo., can help you improve your bone health and prevent osteoporosis-related spine fractures.
FAQs About Our Spine Fracture Clinic.
Continue reading below to learn more about Neurosurgery One's Spine Fracture & Bone Health Clinic or click on one of these links to go directly to the information you are interested in.
Conditions We Treat
What does the Spine Fracture Health Clinic do?
Our Spine Fracture & Bone Health Clinic can help you regain and optimize bone strength to:
- Prepare your bones for spine surgery to correct fractured vertebrae
- Prevent future fractures throughout the body
- Aid in recovery following a spinal fracture or spine surgery
In our clinic, we:
- Evaluate patients for osteopenia and osteoporosis
- Measure bone density using DEXA technology and lab testing
- Prescribe medication to restore bone health
- Provide education on nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle modification to prevent further bone loss
Working with a spine fracture specialist six weeks to three months prior to spine fusion helps ensure a successful procedure with better outcomes, including less back pain. After surgery, an evaluation helps improve recovery, improve your overall health, and decreases the likelihood of future fractures as you return to normal activity.
Who is at risk for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by having low bone density that causes bones to be more fragile and susceptible to fracture. Osteopenia is when you have lower than average bone density but not low enough to be osteoporosis.
Being a female is the No. 1 risk factor for in both diseases. Osteoporosis affects a third of all women and a fifth of men. Other risk factors include:
- Being older than 50
- Being postmenopausal
- Having a family history of osteoporosis
- Being Caucasian or Asian
- Having a previous fracture
- Being a smoker or former smoker
- Having a vitamin D deficiency
Who will patients see at the spine fracture clinic?
Patients at Neurosurgery One’s Spine Fracture & Bone Health Clinic will work with either Cate McGraw or Stacey Buchan.
Cate is a board-certified nurse practitioner who earned her master’s degree at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She specializes in neurosurgery with an emphasis in spine conditions and bone health.
Stacey received her Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Physician Assistant from the University of Toledo. She has a particular interest in gerontological practice. She is always engaged in continuing medical education so she can stay on the cutting edge of medical treatment advancements.