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How do you treat a compound fracture of the spine?

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A compound fracture of the spine can be treated with a back brace or by a vertebroplasty or a kyphoplasty, according to WebMD and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Both a vertebroplasty and a kyphoplasty are surgical procedures that involve adding space in between vertebrae in the spine.

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Back braces are an at-home treatment that does not require surgical intervention. The back brace helps to support the compound fractured vertebrae and enable their healing, according to WebMD. The downfall with this treatment is that it limits the amount of activity and kinds of activities individuals can perform while wearing the brace. If the patient has osteoporosis, bone-strengthening drugs will also be a part of this treatment, notes WebMD. Sometimes electrical stimulation is also used to speed up the healing process, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

For vertebroplasty treatments, doctors perform a surgical procedure that injects cement into the vertebrae in order to create more space and support the fractured vertebrae throughout healing, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. For kyphoplasty treatments, doctors perform a surgical procedure that uses a balloon to create additional space in between the vertebrae. Researchers are still studying both treatments but have found that kyphoplasty yields the greatest results at up to two years. Studies continue to be performed as more than 750,000 patients in the United States experience compound vertebral fractures each year.

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