Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

What are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?

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.

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are often used to treat compressed vertebrae.

How do vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty work?

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.

A kyphoplasty involves inflating a balloon-like device in the vertebral body before the cement is injected.

Benefits of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty

  • Immediate pain relief
  • Improved quality of life
  • Rapid recovery
  • Preservation of spinal alignment
  • Minimised risk of complications
  • Reduction in medication use
  • Quick procedure
spine conditions
Spinal conditions such as osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease, or fractures can be treated with vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.

What conditions do vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty treat?

Potential conditions which may be treated with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty include:

  • Osteoporosis: a common condition characterised by the weakening of bones over time, making them more susceptible to fractures. These procedures can help manage the pain and increase spinal stability in the fractured vertebrae. 
  • Trauma: head or spinal injuries can lead to vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can address these fractures and provide pain relief. 
  • Metastatic spinal tumours: vertebrae may weaken when cancer spreads to the spine (metastatic tumours). Both procedures may stabilise the affected areas to alleviate pain and prevent further discomfort.
  • Multiple myeloma: a form of cancer that affects the plasma cells. It often leads to areas of weakened bone where the cancerous plasma cells have replaced weakened bone tissue. The presence of which can cause severe bone pain. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can be part of the treatment plan for patients with multiple myeloma to manage fractures and pain. 
  • Osteolytic lesions: certain bone diseases and conditions, including Paget's disease and fibrous dysplasia, can result in osteolytic lesions, causing vertebral compression fractures. These procedures may be used to treat such fractures and reduce pain.
  • Degenerative disc disease: although less common, severe degenerative disc disease can lead to vertebral compression fractures. In some cases, vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty may be considered part of the treatment plan to address these fractures and relieve pain. 
  • Vertebral haemangiomas: benign vascular tumours of the spine that can cause vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can be used to manage these fractures and associated symptoms. 

If you have any of the conditions listed above, make an appointment with Chou Neuroscience Clinic for customised treatment.

What results can I expect with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?

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.

How many vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty sessions are needed? 

Usually, only one session of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty is needed. However, additional sessions may be required if the spine condition persists or worsens.

Frequently asked questions  

How long do vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty take?

The procedures are relatively quick, typically taking less than an hour for each treated vertebra. 

Are there any risks or complications associated with these procedures?

While considered safe, there can be risks such as infection, cement leakage, nerve injury, or worsening of symptoms.

Is there an age limit for these procedures?

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.

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Copyright © 2023 Chou Neuroscience Clinic. All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2023 Chou Neuroscience Clinic. All Rights Reserved