Treatments We Provide

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that are linked together by facet joints and cushioned by intervertebral discs to allow for mobility. When any section of the spine is damaged, the space between the discs might narrow. This results in the painful compression of the many nerves that travel through the spine.

doctor explaining anatomical spine to patient

What is Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are two revolutionary, non-surgical procedures that can strengthen your spine’s vertebrae. These operations protect the vertebrae from additional injury and enhance the space between them.

Both procedures are comparable. Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement between vertebrae to prevent additional spinal compression. Kyphoplasty makes use of a tiny balloon that is inflated to keep spinal gaps open. Many patients who have not achieved relief from conventional therapy may benefit from vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Both operations can relieve pain and raise the vertebral height. Vertebroplasty also helps to maintain the right spine angle by keeping the vertebrae properly aligned.

Both procedures have been shown to lower pain while also improving spinal alignment. Patients who have these procedures not only enjoy long-term comfort, but many also experience less pain and greater mobility on the day of the surgery. Some studies have suggested that kyphoplasty has a little advantage over vertebroplasty in terms of height restoration; therefore consult your doctor if this is a treatment aim.

Why is Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Performed?

Conditions Treated With Vertebroplasty And Kyphoplasty:

The following are the most common syndromes that necessitate vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty:

  • Osteoporosis.
  • Metastasis of bone cancer
  • A history of trauma or injury

The vertebrae can deteriorate in each of these situations, resulting in vertebral body fractures. Patients who have compression fractures may also have kyphosis. Kyphosis, sometimes known as a humpback, is caused by the vertebrae collapsing. This can be quite debilitating and humiliating for the individual experiencing it.

Pain Management:

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are generally effective and safe surgeries. These procedures are typically beneficial in alleviating the pain caused by a spinal compression fracture; many patients get significant relief nearly immediately or within a few days. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can improve a patient’s functional capacities and enable them to resume their prior level of activity without the need for physical therapy or rehabilitation.

Following vertebroplasty, around 75% of patients regain lost mobility and become more active, which aids in the treatment of osteoporosis. Patients who had been bedridden before the treatment can now get out of bed, which can significantly minimize their risk of pneumonia. Increased activity increases muscle strength, which promotes mobility even more.

How is Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Performed?

Vertebroplasty Procedure:

Vertebroplasty is an outpatient surgery that includes injecting acrylic cement into the damaged vertebra with a biopsy needle. Your doctor will most likely order an X-ray, take a comprehensive medical history, and perform a physical exam before the treatment to determine the precise location and cause of your vertebra-related discomfort. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a Computed Tomography Scan may also be used by your doctor (CT or CAT scan).

Inform your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any herbal supplements you use. If you have a history of bleeding issues or are using any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drugs, aspirin, or other medications that alter blood clotting, tell your doctor.

Sedation medicine is administered to assist you to relax and remain calm during the surgery, or general anesthesia is administered for severe pain. The needle is guided into the cracked vertebra using a continuous X-ray, while your body is shielded from the radiation. Cement is slowly injected into the vertebra. Your doctor may provide a second injection to close the gap depending on how the cement enters the vertebra.

Kyphoplasty Procedure:

Balloon-assisted vertebroplasty is another name for kyphoplasty. Under X-ray guidance, needles are inserted into the broken vertebra and used to introduce a robust, inflatable medical balloon between the vertebrae.

Your doctor will evaluate you before the procedure, maybe extracting blood for tests and using X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to locate the fractures. During the surgery, an anesthesiologist will use an IV to provide medication that will either relax you and reduce your discomfort or put you to sleep. Your doctor will use X-ray guidance to implant a needle into the bone, and then inflate a balloon to help the vertebra restore its original shape.

Your doctor will inject the cement while examining X-rays to verify it is inserted correctly. Your doctor will remove the needle without the need for stitches. The total surgery should take less than an hour, although it could take longer if more vertebrae are addressed.

What To Expect After Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Vertebroplasty Recovery:

After the treatment, you will most likely be required to lie on your back for 1 hour to allow the cement to set. You will most likely spend another 1 to 2 hours in an observation room.

Pain relief may be felt practically immediately after the surgery, although it may take up to 72 hours. For temporary discomfort, your doctor can prescribe over-the-counter pain medications.

Your doctor will evaluate your discomfort and look for any potential consequences. Wearing a back brace may be essential in the future, although it is usually unneeded. You will come in a few weeks for a follow-up appointment.

Kyphoplasty Recovery:

You will spend time in a recovery room following the treatment. You could leave the same day, but your doctor may request that you stay overnight. You may be able to begin walking an hour following the surgery. You may feel some soreness where the needle enters your back, but this should only last a few days. You may notice that you are in less pain than you were before the operation.

Discuss with your doctor whether you should avoid certain activities following the surgery. To assist in strengthening your bones and avoiding further spinal fractures, your doctor may advise you to take specific vitamins, minerals, and drugs.

Most patients recover quickly and easily from vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. After a brief recuperation period, your doctor will advise you to move around within an hour of the treatment. You may have some mild discomfort, but this is typical and will pass fast. Using an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, as well as an ice pack will help ease discomfort. Because the needle(s) make a little puncture in your skin, the area can be readily wrapped with a simple bandage following the treatment.

Rest on the day of the surgery, and then gradually return to normal activity levels as you recover. Call your doctor if you develop an increase in pain, swelling, redness at the injection site, or a fever. These could be symptoms of an infection. Your recovery may take a little longer in some circumstances. If your overall health is poor, complications from the treatment occur, or you receive injections in more than one vertebra, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.

If you have osteoporosis and have vertebral damage, some lifestyle adjustments can help strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of further injury. A healthy diet, daily exercise, weightlifting, calcium, vitamin D supplements, and bisphosphonates (such as Fosamax) may help avoid further compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Improving Patients’ Quality of Life Through Personalized Care

If you’re struggling with neck, back, or hip pain or any other spine related issues, schedule an appointment with us today to get back to living your life the way you’d like to.

Common Conditions We Treat