Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures performed to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. The fractures, which can be painful and limit spine mobility, are commonly caused by osteoporosis, spinal tumors, and traumatic injury.
These procedures are accomplished by using the imaging guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone, or insert a balloon into the fractured bone to create a space and then fill it with cement. They are effective and safe procedure for treating vertebral compression fractures in the elderly. It provides immediate pain relief and allows early mobilization, thus avoiding potentially severe complications related to persistent back pain and prolonged bed rest. When performed by experienced surgeon complication rate is low, representing a safe procedure with an ability to provide a desired outcome.
How are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty done?
Both Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are similar procedures. These are performed through a hollow needle passed through the skin of the patient’s back into the fractured vertebra. In vertebroplasty, bone cement (called polymethylmethacrylate) is injected through the hollow needle into the fractured bone.
In kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted and inflated to expand the compressed vertebra to its normal height before filling the space with bone cement. The procedures are repeated for each affected vertebra. The cement-strengthened vertebra allows the patient to stand straight, reduces pain, and prevents further fractures. The vertebra is returned to normal position before the bone hardens. Patients report significantly less pain after treatment.
The sooner a fracture is repaired, the better the results. About 90% of the patients are relieved and pain free post these procedures. The reduction in pain and increased ability to move significantly improved the patients’ quality of life. Various studies in cancer patients with multiple myeloma have shown similar results.
Are these procedures for me?
Both the procedures, Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty, can be a treatment option if you have painful vertebral compression fractures from diseases like Osteoporosis, Bone cancer, cancer of the bone marrow (Multiple myeloma) or benign vascular tumor. However it is advised to consult your medical specialist before stepping for these options.