What are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally-invasive procedures performed to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column. These fractures are commonly caused due to osteoporosis, a condition that causes the degeneration of bones.

When a vertebral body becomes fractured, it becomes compressed leading to severe pain and discomfort. These compression fractures can cause one or more vertebrae to collapse, all of which are brought on by osteoporosis. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are the procedures used to stabilise fracture and preserve or improve the function of fractured vertebrae.

Vertebroplasty is conducted to stabilise compression fractures. It involves the use of special medical cement which is injected into the fractured site in the spine. Continuous X-rays are taken to guide the doctor to the fracture site. The cement is injected into the vertebra where it will harden and give stability. This strengthens the vertebra and provides pain relief and restores mobility of patient.

Kyphoplasty is conducted to create a space in the compressed area in the fractured vertebra. A balloon is inserted into this space through a catheter where it is inflated, creating a cavity for cement injection. The balloon is gently removed and vertebroplasty is performed and cement in injected into the newly formed cavity.

Who should undergo these procedures?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are used in the treatment of painful spinal compression fractures, which are primarily caused due to osteoporosis. These procedures are recommended after other treatment options such as back brace, bed rest and pain medication have been unsuccessful. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are performed on individuals who:

  • Have malignant tumours in the spine which have caused vertebral compression
  • Are old and frail and will likely suffer from impaired bone healing following the spinal fracture
  • Suffer from long-term osteoporosis brought on by genetics, metabolic disorders or steroid treatment

For more details on vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty and how to manage osteoporosis, speak to your doctor today.

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