Kyphoplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure to relieve pain from vertebral compression fractures, affecting the bones from which the spinal column is comprised. This procedure is usually performed on patients whose vertebral fractures have occurred as a result of osteoporosis. For best results, kyphoplasty should be performed within two months of the fracture's occurrence.
Preparing for Kyphoplasty
Before undergoing kyphoplasty, your doctor will perform a physical examination, review your medical history, and order blood tests. Spinal x-rays, MRI, and other imaging tests will be done to verify the existence of vertebral compression fracture that will benefit from kyphoplasty. Be sure to notify your doctor of all medicines you are currently taking, any allergies you may have, and if you are or may be pregnant. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions regarding eating, drinking, and taking medications on the day of your procedure.
Kyphoplasty is performed as outpatient procedure under sedation, although general anesthesia may also be used; therefore, you will need a friend or relative to drive you home afterwards. You will be lying facedown for the duration of the procedure, which lasts around an hour. Once the sedative and/or general anesthesia has taken effect, the skin surrounding your spine will be sterilized and shaved, and a tiny cut will be made in the area. With x-ray assistance, an empty needle known as a trocar will be inserted into the spine until its tip is positioned evenly with the fractured vertebra. A balloon is then inserted though the needle and inflated, reverting the bone to its original shape and creating a cavity. The balloon is then removed and orthopedic cement is injected into the area, filling the cavity. Finally, the trocar is removed, pressure is applied to stop bleeding, and a bandage is placed around the skin.
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF), which are fractures of the vertebra. These fractures commonly occur as a result of osteoporosis, spinal tumors or injury, and can cause severe pain and limited mobility. They can also lead to abnormal spine curvature and increase a patient's risk for serious spinal complications.
In many cases, vertebral fractures can be treated through conservative methods such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication. Like fractures in other areas of the body, these fractures can heal on their own. However, patients with osteoporosis or whose fractures have caused severe, long-term pain may benefit from a minimally invasive procedure such as vertebroplasty to relieve symptoms. This procedure is also recommended for patients who are too weak to undergo spinal surgery, or have a malignant tumor within the spine that has caused vertebral damage.
Your doctor will perform an X-ray examination of the spine to determine the specific location and severity of the fracture, as well as how long ago they occurred. Vertebroplasty is most effective when performed on fractures that are less than six months old.
During the vertebroplasty procedure, an injection of a bone cement solution is administered into the affected vertebra to stabilize the fracture and relieve pain. This procedure is performed under X-ray guidance to ensure precise delivery of the cement solution, which hardens in approximately 20 minutes. The needle is then removed and a bandage is placed over the injection site, with no need for sutures. Vertebroplasty is performed using only a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. In most cases, patients will be able to return home about an hour after their procedure.
Patients suffering from vertebral fractures may be treated with vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, which are very similar procedures, aside from the fact that kyphoplasty involves inserting a balloon into the fractured bone to restore it to its original height and shape before filling it with cement. Your doctor will determine which treatment is right for you based on a thorough evaluation of your condition.