Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
DefinitionThe vertebrae are a series of bones that make up the spine. When one fractures , it can put pressure on surrounding nerves. This can cause intense pain and disability. The bones may be repaired with these procedures.
- In vertebroplasty, an acrylic cement is injected into a fractured and collapsed vertebra (spinal bone). The cement strengthens the bone and decreases pain from the fracture.
- In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to create a cavity to inject the cement into. This procedure is designed to relieve pain. It can also improve spinal deformities from the fractures.
Reasons for ProcedureBoth procedures are used to decrease pain from osteoporotic or pathologic vertebral compression fractures.Kyphoplasty also restores the height of the bone. This can decrease the spinal deformity caused by the fracture.Other treatment for vertebral fracture may include nonsurgical treatments, such as bracing or use of pain medications.
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Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Leakage of the cement into the spinal canal or into adjacent veins
- Increased back pain
- Fracture of adjacent vertebra or ribs
- Numbness, tingling
- Vertebral fractures that extend into the spinal canal area
- Radiculopathy—irritation of a nerve root in the area of the fracture that often causes areas of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg
- Bleeding disorders
- Unusually soft or porous bones