Vertebroplasty + Kyphoplasty
What is vertebroplasty + kyphoplasty?
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are two innovative, minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedures that have proven to strengthen the vertebrae of your spine and significantly improve pain caused by vertebral body compression fractures. Fractures are often secondary to osteoporosis, cancer metastasis, or trauma
Who is a good candidate for vertebroplasty + kyphoplasty?
If you do suffer a painful compression fracture, you may be a good candidate for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are techniques that provide therapeutic benefit by significantly reducing pain and improving mobility in patients with vertebral fractures.
The syndromes most commonly requiring vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty include:
How vertebroplasty + kyphoplasty works
Vertebroplasty is an outpatient technique that involves injecting acrylic cement with a biopsy needle into the fractured painful vertebra. The needle is placed with X-ray guidance for proper placement. The acrylic cement quickly dries and forms a support structure within the vertebra that provide stabilization and strength. The needle makes a small puncture in your skin that is easily covered with a small bandage after the procedure. For your comfort, patients are given local anesthesia and light sedation for the procedure.
Kyphoplasty is also referred to balloon-assisted vertebroplasty. This method involves placing needles into the fractured vertebra and placing a strong inflatable balloon into the vertebra under X-ray. When the balloon is inflated, it makes a space in the center of the vertebrae where acrylic cement can be injected using low pressure. The technique works very similarly to vertebroplasty, but the inflation of the balloon may result in an increase in the vertebral body height.
Are there risks?
As with all medications and surgical procedures, there is always a risk of complications. Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are considered appropriate non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatments for many patients who suffer from back pain. Some of the associated risks that can be produced are from the leak of acrylic cement outside of the vertebral body.
Although severe complications are extremely rare, it is important to know that infection, bleeding, numbness, tingling, headache, and paralysis may ensue due to misplacement of the needle or cement. This particular risk is decreased by the use of X-ray or other radiological imaging to ensure proper placement of the cement.