The term “musculoskeletal” refers to health conditions related to the bones and muscles within the body. The doctors at Memphis Vascular Center offer minimally invasive treatments for common musculoskeletal problems, such as spine fractures and knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, and we anticipate there will be more such treatments available in the future.

Spine fractures/vertebral compression fractures

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects 10 million Americans. Another 44 million Americans have low bone density, which puts them at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis. Women are four times as likely to develop the disease than men, and caucasian and Asian women are at a higher risk than women of other ethnicities.

spine fracture treatment - TN

More than a million spine fractures occur each year and osteoporosis is most often the cause. With low bone density, the vertebra within the spine can weaken and collapse. Also known as a vertebral compression fracture, this can cause great pain and discomfort as well as the loss of mobility.

Studies have shown that people with a spine fracture are also at a much higher risk for developing additional fractures, along with reduced lung function, difficulty controlling their bladder or bowels, decreased quality of life and death.1,2,3

Treatment options

Conservative treatment such as pain medication, back braces and physical therapy can help to control the pain, but they do not address the cause of the pain–the fracture itself. New and minimally invasive approaches to treating spine fractures are now available as a safe and effective alternative to surgery.

Vertebroplasty is a procedure where an interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a needle into the collapsed vertebra. A special, fast-drying cement is then injected into the bone, stabilizing and strengthening it.

Kyphoplasty is similar to vertebroplasty, except a medical-grade balloon is first inserted into the collapsed vertebra and inflated to restore height to the vertebra. When the balloon is deflated and removed, cement is injected into the hollow cavity it leaves behind, resulting in a more natural shape to the bone.
Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. In addition, most patients will experience immediate pain relief after the procedure.

Contact us at 901-683-1890 for more information. Or schedule an appointment online HERE.

Osteoarthritis of the knee

As we age, the healthy, protective cartilage within the knee joint begins to erode. Over time, the loss of cartilage causes the bones within the knee to rub together, which can result in significant pain and even a loss of mobility. Almost half of older Americans will experience this condition, known as osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and even though you may be experiencing pain, you may not yet be a candidate for knee replacement surgery, also known as total knee arthroplasty, As a result, you may be required to take pain medication or receive pain injections for many years.

Within the last decade, it was discovered that the inflammation within the knee caused by osteoarthritis accelerates cartilage degeneration. Therefore it is important to treat the inflammation to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

A new treatment option – GAE

While total knee replacement is one of the most common and proven surgeries for knee osteoarthritis, a new and less invasive treatment option is available to those who may not yet be candidates for this surgery, or who do not wish to have it. Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a highly effective way to reduce inflammation within the knee joint and slow or halt the progression of osteoarthritis.

During the GAE procedure, an interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a catheter into one or more of the genicular arteries that feed the synovium–the lining of the knee where the inflammation occurs. The artery is then embolized or “blocked,” which reduces inflammation and its associated pain. GAE spares the patient the risks of a long-term medication regimen, or the need to receive pain injections every few months.

According to a clinical study, average pain scores decreased from 8 out of 10 to 3 out of 10 within the first week of the procedure.4

  1. Lindsay R, Silverman SL, Cooper C, et al. Risk of new vertebral fracture in the year following a fracture. JAMA. 2001 Jan 17;285(3):320–3.
  2. Kado DM, Browner WS, Palermo L, Nevitt MC, Genant HK, Cummings SR. Vertebral fractures and mortality in older women: a prospective study. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Jun 14;159(11):1215–20.
  3. Huang MH, Barrett-Connor E, Greendale GA, Kado DM. Hyperkyphotic posture and risk of future osteoporotic fractures: the Rancho Bernardo study. J Bone Miner Res. 2006 Mar;21(3):419–23.

Fill out the following questionnaire to see if you qualify for Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE).

Contact us at 901-683-1890 for more information. Or schedule an appointment online HERE.

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