Sacroplasty for Lower Back Pain

Photo is a woman clutching her lower back due to pain and discomfort after getting up from her couch. Many people who suffer from lower back pain want to explore nonsurgical options as an alternative to spine surgery. Depending on the individual’s condition and diagnosis, we offer nonsurgical options that range from physical therapy, bracing, injections, and minimally invasive procedures to provide back pain relief.

For those with lower back pain caused by a tailbone fracture, sacroplasty is one such option.

What is sacroplasty?

Sacroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat sacral fractures, which occur in the sacrum (or tailbone) just below the spine. The goal of this procedure is to reduce pain and improve stability.

What are the symptoms of sacral fractures?

Radiologic imaging, specifically of the tailbone, is used to diagnose a sacral fracture. The chief complaint of a sacral fracture is lower back pain. Symptoms are fairly nonspecific, and the fracture could go unnoticed for many years. Often, there’s a specific incident that points to the beginning of the pain, but it’s usually non-traumatic, and people tend to not seek help.

In addition to lower back pain, symptoms of a sacral fracture may include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Reduction in mobility
  • Pain that gets worse when doing heavy lifting but is less severe when lying down
  • Pain that extends from the tailbone to the legs, groin, buttocks and thighs

What causes this type of spine fracture and who is at risk?

The leading cause of a sacral fracture is osteoporosis, which is most common in older women. Though rare, a spine fracture of this nature could happen to anyone. Other factors that put people at greater risk include radiation exposure, arthritis, third-term pregnancy and erosion caused by chronic steroid use.

How does sacroplasty treat pain caused by sacral fractures?

The sacroplasty procedure is very similar to a vertebroplasty. While the vertebroplasty procedure injects a “cement” in between two vertebrae, sacroplasty injects cement directly into the sacrum and sacral fracture. This stabilizes the fracture and provides pain relief. Patients usually see immediate results with this nonsurgical, 30-minute procedure.

Learn more about sacroplasty for spine fractures in this article by Healthy KC Magazine.

For helpful information about other non-invasive treatment options for back pain, click on a topic below:

For specific questions or concerns on these or other neck and back conditions, please make an appointment by calling 913-319-7600.

Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos, interventional physiatristC. Lan Fotopoulos, M.D. is an interventional physiatrist specializing in minimally invasive and interventional procedures in the treatment of spinal disorders, including epidural injections, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation and sacroplasty.


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