Personalized treatment for spine fractures
SARASOTA- Nearly 80% of Americans will struggle with back pain at some point in their life.
“It could be activity related or inactivity related, there are lots of reasons one could get it, that could be cured with a little TLC, a little rest and maybe some Tylenol," said Massachusetts General Hospital's, Dr. Joshua Hirsch.
But as the country’s population ages, Dr. Hirsch explains the risk of a potentially severe underlying cause of back pain could rise.
“Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures: Osteoporosis for soft bones and Vertebral Compression Fractures for the vertebrae meaning the spine, compression fractures: broken bones," Dr. Hirsch.
CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Liz Thompson says 9 million people had osteoporotic fractures in 2000, of those 9 million; 1.4 million suffered bone breaks in the spine.
“What’s really terrible and a public health crisis, is that 2/3 of those 1.4 million people who had those VCF’s/breaks in the spine went undiagnosed for months, living with debilitating pain," said Thompson.
So who is affected, and what can they do? Dr. Hirsch believes a personalized treatment plan could be a solution.
“If we lived long enough, men and women would all be affected by osteoporosis, but yes, women are affected a little earlier because of those biologic changes that occur when they’re about 50," said Thompson, "The beauty of this approach, in terms of compression fractures is we have sort of early entry into that personalization by looking at so many scenarios, which really should cover any which way a patient might present with on of these broken bones."