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Treating Spinal Compression Fractures-Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty

Spinal Compression Fractures are fractures of the vertebrae that are caused by compression, or excessive pushing of one bone against another. They usually occur in the thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine. Moreover they can also be caused by traumatic injury or as a result of osteoporosis.

Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty, having a strong direct link with these fractures are basically two invasive procedures used to treat the painful vertebral compression fractures, involving the vertebral bodies that make up the spinal column.

What happens in Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

  • In Vertebroplasty Procedure, the physicians inject a cement mixture with the help of image guidance into the fractured bone through a hollow needle.
  • In the Kyphoplasty procedure, first a balloon is inserted into the fractured bone through a hollow needle in order to create a space or cavity. When the balloon is removed, the cement is injected into the cavity.

Common uses of these Procedures:

The result of osteoporosis if not properly treated may lead to the painful vertebral compression fracture in the spine. This chronic condition can be treated with the help of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Furthermore, these two procedures are also performed on the patients who:

  • Are elderly or frail and can have an impaired bone healing after a fracture.
  • Are going through vertebral compression due to a malignant tumor.
  • Are suffering from osteoporosis due to long term steroid treatment or a metabolic disorder.

In order to achieve highest success ratio for the treatment vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty should be completed within eight weeks of the acute fracture.

 Benefits vs. Risks

Benefits

  • With vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty there will be an increase in a person’s functional abilities that will revert you back to the previous level of activity.
  • The procedures are highly beneficial for alleviating a pain faced after spinal compression fracture.
  • Following vertebroplasty 75% of the patients may definitely regain lost mobility and become more active. This will eventually help them in combating osteoporosis.
  • Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are both safe and effective procedures.
  • In these treatments no surgical incision is needed, only a small nick is made in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed.

Risks:

  • It is understood that whenever the skin is penetrated, there is always a risk of infection.
  • A small amount of orthopedic cement can leak out of the vertebral body; this can create serious problems if the leakage moves out to the spinal canal or the blood vessels of the lungs.
  • Some possible complications include, bleeding, infection, increased back pain and neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling.
  • A low risk of allergic reaction to the medications.

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are best procedures if you are suffering from spinal compression fractures. It’s true that there are risks in many treatments but in order to get rid or pull yourself back from a bigger problem these risks shouldn’t matter in front of a proper treatment that will prevent you from landing in an immobile state.

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