Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

FAQ’s on Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

What are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?


Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are stabilizing treatments for relieving intense pain symptoms occurring in cases of spinal compression fractures, also known as vertebral compression fractures.

Who the best candidate for Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?


Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are performed when a fracture is not able to heal naturally (with the help of a brace) through traditional treatments, or when powerful painkillers fail to relieve pain. The procedures are typically performed on patients over 65 and who are suffering from osteoporosis with painful complications. Cancer patients who have suffered a compression fracture have also had effective pain relief with these procedures.

When are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty performed?


Both procedures are performed a few weeks after the fracture. They involve surgical placement of cement material around the fractured vertebra. This is done under X-ray guidance by a licensed medical practitioner, who makes tiny and minimally invasive incision to the patient’s skin.

It is essential that the patient wait for at least 3 months before undergoing this surgical intervention . Except for cases involving acute activity-related pain or mild discomfort, it is possible for doctors to perform these surgeries under all conditions.

How is Vertebroplasty performed?


Vertebroplasty is performed on a semi-conscious patient, under the effect of mild sedation. It is done within the secure setting of an operating room. First, the doctor precisely places catheters inside the fracture. Then the doctor injects a bone cement solution into the fractured vertebra under great pressure. It is left to dry for 10 minutes. Once dried, the cement congeals to bring bone fragments together and provides instant stability to the damaged bones. It is not designed to fill the fracture; it is entirely about stabilizing the fracture bone with the goal bringing pain relief and increasing spinal function.


How is Kyphoplasty performed?


Kyphoplasty is conducted on a patient who is under the effect of general anesthesia or local anesthesia. The doctor places a balloon catheter (which looks similar to the one used in angioplasty) inside the vertebra. A liquid is pumped into the balloon under high pressure. Once the balloon inflates, it can correct any wedges occurring in the ruptured vertebra and heal the collapsing bones.

After the balloon reaches the stage of maximum inflation, it creates a hollow cavity. The balloon is then deflated and removed. It is replaced by cavity-filling cement that hardens within the hollow space and provides firmness to the bones.


What are the success rates of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?


Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty boast a success rate of 90%. These procedures can effectively relieve pain due to fractures within 6 weeks. Nevertheless, in case of collapse, multiple breaks and wedging, kyphoplasty is more effective.

Kyphoplasty is more helpful in the case of multiple fractures and broken vertebra, especially when the spine is curved inwards rather than falling out. By performing this procedure, medical practitioners not only prevent the hunchback condition (kyphotic deformity in the spine) but they also bring the vertebral column in its normal state and prevent any chances of deformity occurring in the future.

What are the Risks associated with these Restorative Treatments?


Like all other restorative procedures, these two methods include certain risks. For instance, there is a chance of the cement seeping in the vertebral canal, or leaking out of the vertebra without hardening the bones, making the procedure ineffective.

If the filling enters the spinal canal, it can cause compression of nerves and the spine. Introduction of cement near the spinal cord can give birth to future neurological disorders. In rare cases, it can lead to pulmonary embolism in lungs, neural pain, and death.

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If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain and think it may be from a vertebral compression fracture and would like to learn more about Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty, contact Texas Pain Network today. The practice has a Double Board Certified San Antonio pain management doctor accepting over 50 insurance plans and is an expert in these procedures.

Call (210) 202-4030 for more information and scheduling!