Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive medical procedures used to treat certain spinal conditions, particularly vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) in the spine. These fractures frequently arise due to osteoporosis or other medical conditions that compromise the structural integrity of spinal bones, leading to pain and a hunched appearance known as kyphosis. The objectives of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are to reduce pain, stabilise the impacted vertebrae, and enhance the patient's overall quality of life.
Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are regularly performed as outpatient procedures due to their minimally invasive process with only minor incisions. Patients with painful spinal compression fractures who have not responded to traditional treatments like pain medication and rest are usually advised to get them.
In vertebroplasty, a medical-grade cement is directly injected under fluoroscopic guidance into the fractured vertebral body to provide stability and pain relief. In comparison, kyphoplasty entails a second procedure that involves inserting a balloon-like device into the vertebral body and inflating it before injecting cement to create a cavity.
This works to restore part of the lost vertebral height and stabilise the fracture. Both treatments are carried out under local anaesthesia. The decision on which operation is most appropriate is based on various elements, such as the severity of vertebral collapse and the specific outcome requirements of the treatment.
Potential conditions which may be treated with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty include:
The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. This means you may return home on the same day. However, you may be advised to remain for a short stay if you have underlying health concerns or if there are any concerns about your immediate recovery.
You will be advised to take it easy and rest for a certain period after returning home. Pain and discomfort may continue for several days to weeks. You may be prescribed pain medication or recommended over-the-counter pain relief to manage this pain.
Avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or intense spine twisting for a specified period post-operation. You must attend follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and ensure that the treated vertebrae are healing. X-rays and other imaging may be used to assess the results.
In some instances, physical therapy may be recommended. This will help reduce discomfort while improving mobility and strengthening the spinal muscles.
Recovery time varies per patient, but many experience significant pain relief and improved life quality in the weeks following. Our healthcare team will provide a personalised recovery plan and be available to address any questions or concerns you may have during recovery.
Usually, only one session of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty is needed. However, additional sessions may be required if the spine condition persists or worsens.
The procedures are relatively quick, typically taking less than an hour for each treated vertebra.
While considered safe, there can be risks such as infection, cement leakage, nerve injury, or worsening of symptoms.
There is no strict age limit, but the eligibility for the procedures is determined based on the individual's overall health and the specific characteristics of the fractures.