Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are two surgically minimally invasive procedures that are undertaken to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. VCF's are wedge-shaped fractures which the body is unable to take because of the huge pain. These VCF's are mainly caused by osteoporosis and injury. By undergoing vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, patients have a chance of faster recovery along with reducing the risk of fractures, significantly, by keeping the vertebra height to the normal level with the insertion of a balloon. In vertebral compression fractures (VCF), a wedge-shaped vertebra is formed as a result of the body collapsing itself. In VCF, the body collapses more on the front side than at the back. This results in a humped spine, called kyphosis. People who have high calcium deficiency and have had a history or are going through bone marrow cancer are more vulnerable to vertebral compression fractures.
Other factors can also cause compression fractures. These include:
• high physical activity
• lifting heavy weights
• having poor diet
• sneezing or coughing hard
VCFs need to be treated on time as they cause
• back pain
• reduced physical activity
• loss of independence
• decreased lung capacity
• problem with maintaining posture
• difficulty sleeping.
Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty can be taken as a treatment option for you if you have painful vertebral compression fractures as a result of the following conditions:
• Osteoporosis (a depletion of calcium in bones)
• Multiple myelomas (cancer of the bone marrow)
• Vertebral hemangioma (benign vascular tumor)
• Metastatic tumor (cancer spread from another area)
You may be considered as a candidate for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:
• Non-painful stable compression fractures
• Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
• Bleeding disorders
• Allergy to medications used during the procedure
• Fracture fragment or tumor in the spinal canal
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar procedures as they are both performed through a hollow needle which the doctor passes through your back all the way to the fractured vertebra.
• In vertebroplasty surgery, bone cement (chemical name: polymethylmethacrylate) is carried through the hollow needle which is injected into the fractured bone.
• In kyphoplasty surgery or Balloon kyphoplasty procedure, the doctor inserts a balloon and inflates it so that the compressed vertebra is expanded and restored to its original/normal level before finally cementing the remaining space. The vertebra is which is strengthened via the bone cement will now enable you to stand straight, suffer nominal pain and reduce the risk of further fractures.
If the Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty treatment is not considered, the compressed fractures may heal over time but in a collapsed position.
The most important advantage of getting Balloon kyphoplasty is that your vertebra is able to retain its normal position before the bone hardens. This is evident by patients' reviews who have undergone Kyphoplasty back surgery and now report significantly less pain after treatment.
Every surgery, whether highly or minimally invasive has some side-effects and risks attached to it. They can range from mild to severe depending on the nature of the surgery, the doctors who operate and the overall health condition of the patient. The vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty side effects are:
• Leakage of bone cement- Sometimes in rare cases, the bone cement can leak into the soft tissues along the needle, which may also happen when the needle is removed from the vertebra.
• Back Pain (pain in the spine)