Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to relieve the pain from a vertebral fracture, especially if it does not improve over a number of weeks with pain medication and treatment with a brace. Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures involve placing cement into the fractured vertebra through small incisions in the skin under x-ray guidance.
Kyphoplasty can also be very helpful when there is severe collapse of the broken vertebra or wedging. By correcting the wedging, kyphoplasty may help restore the spine to a more normal alignment and prevent severe kyphotic (hunchback) deformity to the spine. In someone who has had multiple fractures with previous wedging, kyphoplasty can prevent further worsening of the deformity.
- A bone cement is injected under pressure directly into the fractured vertebra.
- Once in position, the cement hardens in about 10 minutes, congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra and providing immediate stability.
- A balloon catheter is guided into the vertebra and inflated with a liquid under pressure.
- As the balloon inflates, it can restore the collapse in the vertebra and correct abnormal wedging of the broken vertebra.
- Once the balloon is maximally inflated, it is deflated and removed, and the large cavity created is filled with bone cement.
- The cement then hardens in place, maintaining any correction of collapse and wedging.