vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Minimally invasive treatment for spine fractures

Vertebral compression fractures

Osteoporosis, a disease that affects bone density, is often the cause of vertebral compression fractures within the spine. Women over 50 are more at risk for osteoporosis, and the risk is especially higher for Caucasian and Asian women. They can also occur in accident victims, patients who are on steroid therapy, or patients who have tumors within the spine.

When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain. These compression fractures, which may involve the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine, are a common symptom and result of osteoporosis. Studies show that people who experience a spine fracture are at an increased risk of developing additional fractures, along with reduced lung function, decreased quality of life and even death.

What are my treatment options?

Conservative treatment. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, bed rest or a back brace to help alleviate the pain of a vertebral compression fracture. However, these do not address the root cause of the problem and they do not offer lasting relief of pain and other symptoms.

Vertebroplasty. Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. It is performed using a type of X-ray called a fluoroscope to guide a needle into a compression fracture. Once in place, a special type of bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebrae. The cement hardens, stabilizing and strengthening the bone.

Vertebroplasty is safe and effective, producing lasting results in a short amount of time. No hospital stay is required.

Kyphoplasty. A similar procedure to vertebroplasty, Kyphoplasty includes an added measure to restore height to the damaged vertebrae. During this procedure, a balloon is inserted into the vertebral body and inflated to restore the bone to a more natural position. When deflated, the balloon creates a hollow cavity that is filled with bone cement.

Kyphoplasty is also a very safe and effective procedure that is performed on an outpatient basis

Are vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty right for me?

Most people with vertebral compression fractures will qualify for one of these procedures. Your doctor can help you determine which procedure is best for you, and we are happy to consult with your doctor if he or she has questions or concerns.

Benefits of these procedures

The advantages of these procedures are that they are performed quickly (usually in 30 minutes or less) and the patient is generally able to return home the same day. The vast majority of patients report immediate pain relief and an improved quality of life.

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