Compression Fracture Treatments: Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
There’s a type of back pain treatment called vertebroplasty and another called kyphoplasty. Both fall under a big envelope of back pain treatments called vertebral augmentation. One uses a balloon and the other doesn’t. The vertebral augmentation procedures were designed for people with spine pain who had compression fractures.
A compression fracture is a fracture of the bone on this side of the vertebral column or backbone (see video). It literally crushes down due to the fact that the bone is so brittle that the sheer weight causes it to crack. You lose height in that bone as well.
Vertebroplasty was invented about 30 years ago. It has improved and become more common since that time. During this type of back pain treatment, we use a large needle called a trocar. We place the needle through the bone into the fractured bone. With vertebral augmentation, we insert cement through the needle and basically glue or cement those fractured pieces together. Since the fractures are no longer moving, the patient experiences back pain relief.
Kyphoplasty is vertebral augmentation with a balloon. We place a large needle called a trocar into the fractured bone. Through the trocar, we insert a balloon and inflate it, which causes the fracture to open up to its normal height. Once we insert the balloon, we deflate it and remove it. Then we instill cement and cement the pieces together. It’s a great type of back pain treatment that has come a long way. Thirty years ago people were doomed to bedrest as their only form of back pain treatment. Now, we can do this type of back pain treatment in about 30 minutes or less, and provide the patient with back pain relief.
In our facility, we use anesthesia on patients recovering from vertebroplasty. We start an I.V. and make you sleepy. We do the back pain treatment and wake you up about 10-15 minutes later. You may still experience lower back pain because we just put a very large needle through your back. After several hours, that spine pain should resolve.