Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty
If you were diagnosed with a vertebral compression fracture and were told that conservative treatment was unlikely to help or taking too long, your other options include surgery or vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. At Vascular & Interventional partners in Scottsdale, AZ, we can help stabilize compression fractures and reduce back pain with minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.
What Are Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty?
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures used in the treatment of painful vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). VCFs occur when bones of the spinal column, called vertebrae, collapse due to osteoporosis, injury, or tumors. VCF often causes back pain and can affect posture — which is why it needs treatment.
Collectively known as vertebral augmentation, vertebroplasty, and kyphoplasty are usually performed in an interventional radiology clinic. Both procedures involve the use of real-time image guidance to inject bone cement into the collapsed vertebra through a hollow needle. The main differences between the two are:
- Vertebroplasty — The specialist uses X-ray guidance to deliver a biopsy needle into the collapsed vertebra. After that, they inject a cement mixture into the affected bone, which then hardens to give the collapsed bone support and strength.
- Kyphoplasty — A variation of vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty includes one additional and prior step — inflation of a small balloon inside the vertebra. The inflated balloon helps create additional space for bone cement and is meant to restore vertebral height as well as to correct posture. It is important to note that vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty work best on acute compression fractures, which are new fractures that are not older than eight weeks.
- Spine Jack system — The Spine Jack system is the newest technology that utilizes metal implants to truly lift and VCF and restore height. In its most recent trial, there is superiority over kyphoplasty for height restoration and prevention of another level fracture. The caveat is looking to ensure patients are good candidates. We are the experts in this system and have the knowledge and experience to evaluate patients who may be great candidates.
Benefits of Vertebroplasty, Kyphoplasty, & Spine Jack
The main benefit of vertebral augmentation is the stabilization of VCF, reducing back pain, and improving functioning. However, this is something you can also get with conservative treatment or surgery. But compared to conservative treatment or surgery, vertebral augmentation provides additional benefits:
- Being minimally invasive, these procedures don’t require large incisions, stitches, general anesthesia, and overnight hospital stays.
- Both treatments are less risky compared to surgery and have a low rate of complications.
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty reduce pain and increase functioning almost immediately or within a few days and without the need for long rehabilitation.
- After vertebroplasty, 75 percent of patients regain lost mobility and are able to be active again. This helps reduce their risk of worsening osteoporosis and other posture changes.
- Spine jack especially may help restore vertebral height, improve posture or prevent worsening of kyphosis.
Why Choose Vascular & Interventional Partners?
At Vascular & Interventional Partners in Scottsdale, AZ, you will be treated by some of Arizona’s leading interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiology team is the most respected division in the state and has earned the trust of a wide network of referring physicians. Our team also includes experienced and friendly physician assistants, nurses, and technicians who will make sure you get the best treatment possible.
Our doctors are also board-certified by the ABR in Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology and are members of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) and the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society (OEIS).
Being a private practice, our patients get to experience a quicker and more personalized approach to VCF treatment. You will spend more time speaking with your doctor compared to a busy hospital. We also offer personal concierge, curbside drop off and pick up to make your stay with us as enjoyable as can be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty safe?
Studies consistently show that vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have a low rate of complications, ranging from two to 10 percent depending on what caused the VCF. The most common complications are infection, bleeding, allergic reactions, and additional VCFs. Paralysis from nerve injuries is possible but extremely rare. Another possible but luckily rare complication is bone cement leaking into the epidural space, and from there into veins and lungs.
How do I know if vertebral augmentation is right for me?
If you were diagnosed with VCF and your symptoms are not getting any better or are getting worse despite treatment, speak to your doctor about getting vertebral augmentation. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are ideal for patients with worsening back pain and loss of mobility due to VCF.
Can I have vertebral augmentation on old fractures?
Although vertebral augmentation works best on acute fractures, studies show that these procedures can also help relieve pain from fractures that are over a year old. While not as effective with old as with acute fractures, you may experience some level of pain relief with these treatments, especially when combined with conservative therapies.
What can I expect during a vertebral augmentation procedure?
Vertebral augmentation procedures are usually performed in an outpatient setting and under moderate sedation and local anesthesia. During the procedure, you will lie on an operating table in the prone position (face down). The interventional radiologist will look for the exact location of the fracture using live image guidance before filling it with bone cement. You won’t feel any pain during the entire procedure.
What is the recovery like after vertebral augmentation?
After a couple of hours in recovery, you will be allowed to go home on the same day as your procedure. It’s a good idea to rest for the first one to two days after your treatment to avoid injury. After that, you should gradually increase your activity levels to help strengthen the spinal column. You may need to take medication to minimize pain, boost recovery, and reduce your risk of complications.
How long does vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty last?
Follow-up studies show that the benefits of vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty can last five years and possibly longer. While many patients require repeat treatment, many experience long-term pain relief with these treatments.
What is the bone cement used during vertebral augmentation made of?
The most common material used to stabilize VCF is medical-grade polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). It is a type of transparent polymer that is recognized for its high biocompatibility.