Spine Fracture Treatment
Kyphoplasty & vertebroplasty
At some point in your life, one or more of the vertebrae in your spine may fracture. The nature of fractures varies in severity depending on the cause. Some vertebral fractures are the result of compression and weakened bone density. Others are the result of blunt impact and traumatic injury.
Either way, if one of your vertebrae is fractured, you may need kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.
What are kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty?Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive methods for treating fractures in the vertebrae of your spine. Although each is technically a separate procedure, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are often performed together. During kyphoplasty, the surgeon inserts a small tube into the fracture of the vertebrae. He or she will then inflate a small balloon at the end of the tube to carefully widen the gap of the fracture. Once the kyphoplasty has opened enough space, the surgeon can begin vertebroplasty. The goal of vertebroplasty is to fill up this space with bone cement. This substance provides structural support for the vertebrae, which reduces pressure off the nerves and can improve range of motion. Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can usually be performed in an hour or two. Many people who undergo these procedures can return home the same day, although some people will need to be monitored overnight.
Who needs kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty?Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are primarily used for conditions rooted in the vertebrae themselves. Conditions like arthritis or herniated discs cannot be treated with kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. People who can benefit from kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty have one of the following:
- Traumatic injury — A blunt impact from an external force or compression from some form of collision can cause the vertebrae to fracture.
- Osteoporosis — Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones of your body lose density and grow weaker over time. Weaker bones, including those in your spine, are more prone to fractures.
- Cancer — Bone or spinal cancer can destroy bone tissue in the vertebrae and create fractures.
What are the risks of kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty?Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures, so complications are rare. However, the possible complications that can occur include:
- Blood loss
- Blood clotting
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reaction