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What is Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty?

Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. It is used to treat vertebral compression fractures. During vertebroplasty, a neuro spine surgeon uses a needle to inject a bone cement mixture directly into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain.

The procedure is typically performed under local anaesthesia and using X-ray guidance to ensure accurate placement of the cement. It usually takes about an hour to complete, and patients can usually go home the same day.

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is generally considered safe and effective for the treatment of painful vertebral fractures. The patients usually experience significant pain relief and improved mobility within a few days of the procedure.

Why and when Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is recommended?

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is typically recommended as a treatment option for patients with painful vertebral compression fractures, which are fractures that occur in the spinal vertebrae due to osteoporosis, trauma, or other conditions. These fractures can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and other complications, such as respiratory problems, if left untreated.

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty may be recommended if other treatments, such as pain medications, bed rest, or bracing, have not provided adequate relief from pain or if the patient is unable to tolerate these treatments due to side effects or other issues.

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is most effective when performed within eight weeks of the onset of the fracture, before the bone has fully healed and hardened. However, the procedure may still be beneficial for some patients even if the fracture is older.

In general, this minimally invasive procedure may be recommended for patients who have:

  • Painful vertebral compression fractures
  • Reduced mobility or other complications due to the fracture
  • Not responded well to other treatments
  • No severe spinal instability or deformity that would require more extensive surgery.

Ultimately, the decision to undergo kyphoplasty should be made in consultation with a neuro spine surgeon who can evaluate the individual's specific condition and medical history and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

How is Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty different from the conventional treatment?

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is different from conventional treatment for vertebral compression fractures. Conventional treatment for these fractures usually involves pain management with medication, rest, and the use of a brace to stabilize the spine. However, these treatments may not provide adequate relief for all patients and may not address the underlying problem of the fractured vertebra.

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure that is designed to restore the height of the vertebral body and reduce pain by stabilizing the fracture. The procedure involves the insertion of a small balloon into the fractured vertebra to create space, followed by the injection of bone cement to fill the space and stabilize the fracture. This can help to restore the height of the vertebra, reduce deformity, and alleviate pain.

Compared to conventional treatment, this procedure has several advantages, including:

  • More rapid pain relief: Patients typically experience significant pain relief within a few days of the procedure.
  • Improved mobility: Kyphoplasty can help to restore the height of the vertebra and reduce deformity, which can improve mobility and quality of life.
  • Shorter recovery time: Patients can usually return to normal activities within a few days of the procedure, whereas conventional treatment may require a longer period of rest and rehabilitation.

How is life after Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty?

After kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, patients can typically expect to experience significant pain relief, improved mobility, and a reduced risk of future fractures. However, the exact recovery time and long-term outcome will depend on the individual's specific condition and medical history.

Immediately after the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort and soreness at the site of the incision. They may also need to wear a back brace for a short period of time to provide additional support to the spine.

Patients will typically be able to get up and move around soon after the procedure and can return to normal activities within a few days. However, they may need to avoid heavy lifting, bending, or twisting for a few weeks to allow the spine to fully heal.

In the long term, patients may experience improved mobility and quality of life, as well as a reduced risk of future fractures. However, it is still important for patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper supplementation, to prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

Patients should also continue to follow up with their neuro spine surgeon to monitor their condition and ensure that they are taking any necessary medications or supplements to maintain bone health.

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What distinguishes kyphoplasty from vertebroplasty?

Treatment options for discomfort brought on by vertebral body compression fractures include vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, both of which are relatively new procedures. In contrast to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty involves the first inflation of a balloon inside the vertebral body to form a cavity into which cement is subsequently injected under reduced pressure.

Is an MRI required before kyphoplasty?

To determine whether you are a candidate for kyphoplasty, a CT or MRI of the spine may be necessary. If kyphoplasty is ineffective for treating your back discomfort, a CT or MRI may be used.

Kyphoplasty-is it an orthopaedic procedure?

Kyphoplasty, a procedure carried out by orthopaedic surgeons with specialised training, offers patients quick relief from chronic pain and enables them to resume an active lifestyle.  Patients may experience severe, ongoing pain, deformity, and even nerve compression when the spine is fractured.


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