re-building vertebrae height?

I was talking to my Doctor recently about my decrease in height and the fact I had less room for my lung capacity now. I said I was worried about losing more height as my organs already seems to be squashed and I often experience breathing problems.

She said there was a procedure that can re-inflate the space lost between the vertebrae in the spine?

Unfortunately as I was in her surgery for another reason she did not have time to elaborate on this technique or if it is possible for everyone. Has anyone heard of this or indeed had it done?

It is not something I have heard of before and with so many people losing height due to osteoporosis I would have thought it would be quite well known, if indeed it can be done.

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Your doctor may be referring to spinal decompression that is done by many chiropractors or to the medical study that follows.

Be Well,

Here is another link to a PubMed study:
Treatment of combined osteoporotic compression fractures and spinal stenosis: use of vertebral augumentation and interspinous process spacer. 2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDoc Sum

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Thank-you, I shall take a look at both of these sites.

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Perhaps the procedure your doctor was referring to was kyphohplasty.

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Thank-you PikaB, I will also look into that. As I said I had never heard of this procedure so I was a bit confused?! Not sure if it depends on how fragile you are though, as I have severe osteoporosis in conjunction with osteogenesis imperfecta? It is always good to learn more.

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I was told kyphohplasty could only be done on recent compression fractures. I think it may be a span of a year. I am not positive since I asked about this so many years ago.

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Your doctor is probably talking about vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These are procedures in which bone cement is injected into compressed vertebrae. Research has shown that it does not actually increase height, though. For some people it can be very helpful in relieving pain. I personally had a vertebroplasty in August last year, and it did not help my pain at all. I would encourage you to do more research... Good luck in making the right decision.


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A comment regarding the spinal decompression therapy provided by chiropractors: This is a form of traction treatment provided primarily for back pain caused by disc protrusion. It is not a treatment for osteoporotic vertebral fracture, and will not help to regain height lost by vertebral collapse.

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Thank-you all for your help. I am fortunate in that I don't suffer pain but because my kyphoscoliosis is very severe it is now causing breathing problems particularly at night.

Ideally anything that could increase the space for my lungs would be of huge benefit, but I think my problem is too far advanced for many procedures discussed.

I am waiting for an appointment to go for a full respiratory/lung function test as the Specialist did imply I may need oxygen if the problem continues to get worse - not something I relish - although my Sister tells me it does wonders for the skin!

Other than that putting me on a 'rack' and stretching me might work.... only joking!!

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Hi Alisa,
I too had a vertebroplasty (1 year ago) and my pain since has been dreadful. It transferred to opposite side of back and I was almost paralysed for about 5 days after procedure. Still recovering - slow improvement but since Sept not much more. I have recently resorted to Acupuncture and that has at least moved pain back to original side of back (right T7) Had Bone Scan in August and only revealed possible osteo arthritis in that area. I am finding my posture is slowly improving and I am taller in morning but by night spine seems to have compressed again and pain can be worse. - bit like a concertina!! Most people reckon the verteb. relieves the pain. I think it is reaction by nerves to cement. and maybe in time it will go - my optimism some days turns into tears of frustration with the pain. Aida

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I have a fairly simple Re-Alignment Routine that has, inmany people, relieved back pain, increased body height, and helped with breathing and other problems.
Anyone interested, please contact me privately and I can send you a copy.

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Hi Loods, and all,
Today I went to Endocrinologist and have excellent results from 10 months on Forteo (since vertebroplasty 12 months ago). He said my back pain is probably from Scheuermann disease not as a result of fracture etc. and I may have to live with it... however sometimes a short "sit down" rather than a pain killer is effective. OR 20 minutes lying down! Regarding the Height thing - he said when on Forteo the vertebrae blocks actually grow bigger, which could explain my height gain recently - almost to 163cm - same as before fracture. He also said because the blocks enlarge this can give a BD reading LOWER than before as the mass is greater and the BD has to fill a larger area. In my case the BD has improved both in hip and spine. I am trying to be positive and hope my improvement will continue even though at a snail pace. I have also been practising Tai Chi -( beginner) for past 8 weeks and this plus regular walking has certainly contributed to improvement. Aida

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aida ... just wanted you to clarify something

you said when on Forteo the vertebrae blocks actually grow blgger and fill in ... is this the result of the verteoplasty or does verteoplasty have antthing to do with the blocks growing .... or I guess what I am wondering the Forteo contributing to the growth or the verteoplasty???

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Sorry for the confusion... apparently when height is reduced due to ageing - osteoporosis or such , surgery generally wont make you taller. However my height reduction (12 months ago) was due mostly to pain from fracture and bed rest. As recovery was so s l o w and now the pain has started to ease considerably, I am able to straighten up more, so to speak, and RESUME my prior posture, I guess. I looked like a little old lady for months - as if I had a few vertebrae removed altogether!!.Big crease where waist should have been and lots of lovehandles on back. Most of this has gone (only shows up after lunch and not as bad now.)
The Forteo gets the body to make bone and THIS is what makes the vertebrae bigger, both ways but not increase height. It swells a bit I guess. Then settles down again.
So a bone density scan after10 months on Forteo usually doesnt show an increase in BD. Mine did, so this means there may not be any change after another 6 months. Probably wont have another scan for 1 year - which I hope will show at least 10%more improvement . Forteo is about the only treatment tavailable to me for building
bone by up to 20%. Thats why I agreed to treatment - no choice really.
Hope this helps. Aida

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Hello Sara Meeks,

I would be Very interested in Your Re-Alignment Routine?
I was almost 5'3, now I'm 5'1 1/2 ! I think she gave me that extra 1/2 inch, cause I was so shocked I had lost so much.

Thank you,

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I can't send this document through the NOF discussion group. Please send me a private email through and I'll send you the document.
Sara Meeks

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Thanks Aida I understand it now. Good Luck and I am so pleased the Forteo is agreeing with you!!

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Sara, I will be contacting you for the realignment routine.

Along the same lines: I have been working with a certified Pilates instructor. Of course there are many moves in Pilates that some of us will not want to do. But he has worked with me on posture, proper alignment of the spine when standing and moving. I have actually re-gained a little of my lost height. And I certainly look better, I think. He also works to strengthen the small muscles that support the spine, the "spinus erecti", I believe.
I also hear of an Alexander technique that sounds like it does much the same thing.
These methods will not cure us but they will help us maintain what health we have, I believe.

Good luck to all of us!

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