Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to treat compression fractures of the spine, typically caused by osteoporosis or trauma. These procedures aim to relieve pain, stabilize the fractured vertebra, and restore vertebral height. Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty involve the injection of a special bone cement into the fractured vertebra to provide support and alleviate pain.
How Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty Works
Anesthesia: Before the procedure, you will be given local or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and minimize pain. The type of anesthesia used will depend on your specific needs and the surgeon’s recommendation.
Insertion of Needle: A small incision is made in your skin, and a needle is guided into the fractured vertebra under the guidance of fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray imaging).
Balloon Placement (Kyphoplasty): In kyphoplasty, a small balloon is inserted through the needle into the fractured vertebra. The balloon is inflated to create a cavity and restore the height of the vertebra.
Cement Injection: Once the desired vertebral height is achieved, the balloon is deflated and removed. The cavity created is then filled with bone cement, which hardens quickly and stabilizes the vertebra.
Cement Injection (Vertebroplasty): In vertebroplasty, the bone cement is directly injected into the fractured vertebra without the use of a balloon.
Closure: After the cement is injected, the needle is removed, and the incision is closed with adhesive strips or sutures.
Postoperative Recovery: You will be monitored for a short period in a recovery area. Pain medications may be prescribed to manage any discomfort. Most patients can go home on the same day or the next day following the procedure.
When Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty is Needed
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are commonly used in the following cases:
Osteoporotic Compression Fractures: These fractures occur due to weakened bones caused by osteoporosis, often resulting in pain and loss of vertebral height.
Traumatic Compression Fractures: Fractures caused by trauma or injury to the spine, which can be painful and lead to spinal instability.
Pain Relief: Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are primarily performed to alleviate severe pain caused by vertebral fractures that are not responding to conservative treatments such as pain medications and bed rest.