Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty treat fractures of the spine due to weakness of the vertebral bones and aim to stop pain and stabilize the spine.
Kyphoplasty is minimally invasive spinal surgery using a small incision in the back to treat painful Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs), which are often caused by osteoporosis.
In kyphoplasty, a balloon is inserted into the vertebral body and inflated to restore shape and height to the fractured bone. The balloon is then removed and the bone cement injected. (Click here for further details of balloon kyphoplasty)
In vertebroplasty, the bone cement (polymethylmethacrylate) is injected through a hollow needle into the broken areas of bone to stabilize the spine, but no attempt is made to restore the former height of the bone.
Osteoporosis causes bones to lose their density, and strength, with ageing which places them at greater risk of fracturing. It is estimated that three million people in the UK have osteoporosis resulting in pain and disability. Other conditions also cause weakness of the spine and increased risk of disc compression.
The most common symptom is lower back pain with then problems straightening your back. Numbness can be felt in the shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs and feet with pain also in the neck. Sciatica will cause pain in the buttocks, hips or legs.
A physician will carry out a bone density scan which takes about five minutes. People with osteoporosis are more prone to falls and fractures so accurate and timely diagnosis is essential.
We offer highly effective diagnosis and treatments such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty to stop the pain and restore some or all of the spinal structure damaged by a compression fracture
Kyphoplasty involves a small incision in the back through which a doctors places a narrow tube that is guided to the point of the problem. A special balloon is introduced through the tube and is then carefully inflated to elevate the fracture and return the spin to its normal position. The soft inner bone is then compacted to create a cavity which is filled with a cement-like substance called polymethylmehtacrylate (PMMA) which hardens and stabilises the bone.
The operation takes about an hour and patients normally spend 24 hours in hospital before being considered for a return home.
In Vertebroplasty, the same disciplines are followed only the PMMA is injected via a needle to repair the broken areas but no attempt is made to restore the former height of the bone. The bone cement acts as a type of internal cast to stabilize the spine. Most patients experience a 90% reduction in pain within 24-48 hours.