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Over the past two decades, the two surgical procedures vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty for the spine has emerged as a central role of treatment for vertebral compression fractures. Relatively both are new treatment techniques for the pain caused due to vertebral body compression fractures but differ in the treatment procedure. Decompression and fusion are the principle treatment options used to treat these compression fractures before these procedures introduced.

What Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a surgical intervention developed to treat acute vertebral compression fractures, to stabilize the spinal bone, correction of focal vertebral kyphosis, to restore the vertebral body height that was lost due to the compression fracture. Kyphoplasty is a kind of Vertebral Augmentation done (pinhole surgery) under general anaesthesia.

What Is Vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty is a popular outpatient procedure or a daycare procedure
performed to treat compression fractures of the spine. After the procedure, 90% of the patients got relief from pain within 24 to 48 hours. It is a minimally invasive procedure (Pinhole procedure )and is considered low risk.

Do All Cases Of Vertebral Compression Fractures Need This Procedure?

In the case of vertebral compression fractures, the usual shape of the bone is altered and becomes compressed resulting in mild to severe pain. The fractures may collapse one or more vertebrae in the spinal column, which are commonly caused due to osteoporosis.

All the cases of a compression fracture don’t require vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty or other surgeries. Most of the compression fractures can be managed by conservative treatments or nonoperative treatments. The treatments options include Over-the-counter pain medications, NSAID’s and modified physical activity, etc. You may be suggested wearing a brace to provide support, to restrict some movements and therefore removes pressure from the fractured vertebrae.

However, when the conservative treatment options fail to improve the condition or worsening day by day; vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are the best treatment options considered by the spine surgeons. These procedures can repair the fracture, reduce the spinal pressure and relieve pain.

How Does The Procedure Work?

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty, both are minimally invasive pinhole procedures which treat the fractures involved the vertebral bodies making up your spinal column.

Kyphoplasty Procedure

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure also known as balloon kyphoplasty. It is performed under general anaesthesia or sometimes under local anaesthesia.

The procedure is also termed as balloon kyphoplasty because a balloon catheter, similar to the one used in the procedure of angioplasty for the heart is filled with liquid under pressure is guided into the compressed vertebra with the help of X-ray guidance.

After reaching the fractured position, the balloon inflates and restores the collapse of the vertebra in the spine. It can also help in correcting the abnormal wedging of the broken vertebra. Once the balloon inflates to maximum size, it is emptied and removed. Now the space created by the balloon is filled with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

The pasty cement hardens quickly in the place, correcting the collapse of vertebrae and stabilizes the spinal bone.

Vertebroplasty Procedure

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that helps to stabilize the vertebral compression fracture and eliminate its painful movements.

Contrast-Enhanced fluoroscopy is used to display images on a video monitor; a needle is inserted into the damaged vertebra through a small incision. The fluoroscopy helps to guide the needle to the vertebral compression fracture without damaging the spinal cord structure.

A specially formulated bone cement is injected into the backbones (vertebrae) with the needle that has cracked or broken, often because of osteoporosis. The bone cement fills the cracks and hardens, stabilizes the fractures and supports your spine.

Recovery From Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty

This is an outpatient procedure, and you can go home on the same after surgery. You may not need to take complete bed rest after surgery. The patient is advised to resume normal activity at the earliest. Some medicines will be suggested for improving bone quality and density.

However, it is suggested to avoid strenuous and physical activities, such as sports, heavy lifting for up to 6 weeks. A follow-up consultation with your doctor is compulsory at regular intervals after surgery to ensure that the recovery is progressing well.

Benefits Of The Procedure

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are the safest and effective procedures for vertebral compression fracture at present.

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure; the incision made is minimal and doesn’t even require stitches.
  • Recovery is also very fast
  • Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty increase the functional abilities of the patient after surgery and helps to regain the previous activities without any physical therapies or rehabilitation in a short time.
  • These two procedures are exceptionally good in relieving from pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture. Many patients said that they got relief from pain almost immediately or in a few days, and they even become symptom-free.
  • Following vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty, about 75% of people regained their lost mobility and also helps to combat osteoporosis.
  • Patients who are immobile on the bed can get out and walk after the procedure, and this can assist in reducing the risk of pneumonia.

The procedures are most beneficial when performed by an experienced spine surgeon like Dr. Surya Prakash. He is one of the best spine surgeons in India. If you are facing any type of spine problems book an appointment to consult him. Never neglect spine problems, they can be fatal if not treated.