All About Lumbar Vertebral Body Replacement

All About Lumbar Vertebral Body Replacement

If you fracture your spine, the compression on your vertebrae must be addressed to prevent permanent nerve damage. Injuries like this are often due to car accidents, falls from a great height, a gunshot wound, or even a serious sports injury, but osteoporosis is the most frequent cause. Infections and tumors may also lead to fracture. Whatever the injury’s origin, the symptoms are excruciating.

Board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Cohen’s experience and expertise with a multitude of surgical procedures make him uniquely suited to provide your care, especially if you have a fractured vertebra. 

After arriving at an accurate diagnosis through evaluation and imaging, he creates a fully personalized treatment plan for you, which may include a surgical solution called lumbar vertical body replacement. 

The seriousness of vertebral compression fractures

A vertebral compression fracture is serious and something for which you should never delay treatment. Getting immediate care reduces your chances of suffering nerve damage. 

The vertebral body is the thick oval bone within your vertebra, and it bears the most weight when you’re standing. The front and back portions of the vertebral bodies protect your spinal cord and nerve roots. Vertebral bodies also connect the discs — your back’s shock absorbers — between your vertebrae.

A vertebral compression fracture causes your vertebral body to collapse, leading to symptoms like:

When you suffer a vertical compression fracture, your quality of life is bound to be severely compromised, but there’s a surgical solution that can free you from pain caused by spinal instability and improve your mobility. 

How lumbar vertical body replacement works

Dr. Cohen performs a minimally invasive procedure called lumbar vertical body replacement that involves removing the shattered, fractured vertebral body and replacing it with a small medical device — a cage, typically made of titanium, that’s filled with bone graft materials. This matter, which is made from either beta-tricalcium phosphate (a synthetic bone growth substitute) or some of your own bone, fuels bone growth. 

If Dr. Cohen uses your bone material, he harvests it from your hip during the surgery. While your vertebral body heals, new bone grows through the cage and slowly fuses with our own healthy bone, so your vertebral strength returns and you can move freely, without pain. Your spine is realigned and your height restored.  

Whenever possible, Dr. Cohen performs minimally invasive surgery. It’s different from traditional open surgery in that it requires just a few small incisions. He uses specially designed surgical tools and microscopic and endoscopic devices that allow him to see your targeted treatment area. He puts them through a thin tube that’s carefully placed into your body through a small incision. 

Minimally invasive surgery offers many advantages over traditional surgery. Since it’s muscle-sparing, you heal more quickly and experience less pain, scarring, and bleeding. 

Explore how lumbar vertebral body replacement can bring you back to the active life you remember living. Just call our office at 516-246-5008 to schedule an appointment or contact us through our website. We also offer telemedicine appointments that enable you to meet with Dr. Cohen from your own home or office. 

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