Kyphoplasty / vertebroplasty are methods used in the treatment of compression fractures in the body of the vertebral bones that make up the spine. Compression fractures in the vertebrae causes the decrease in the height of the spine and bend the spine forward which results in pain in the back and hunching.
Osteolysis (bone loss) resulting from decrease of the bone density is the main cause of compression fractures in the vertebrae. Another reason is the tumoral conditions that cause weakening of the bone structure.
You must be suffered from progressive pain in the spine that caused from osteoporosis or a tumor-related compression fracture to undergo the kyphoplasty / vertebroplasty procedure. Those patients generally have difficulty in moving due to fracture and has experience in functional limitation.
Radiologic imaging tests such as x-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MR), bone scintigraphy can be used in the diagnosis of spinal fractures. In addition, bone density measurement should be performed in those with osteoporosis.
Depending on the spine surgeon’s preference, the procedure can be performed with local or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the patient lies face down. The location of the fracture is determined with the help of a device called fluoroscopy, which can give a moving image, and local anesthesia is applied to the skin at the level of the fracture. Afterwards, the needle, called a trocar, which is designed to be intertwined with a cannula, passes through the skin and rests on the broken bone.
The trocar, which is placed in the appropriate position in the presence of fluoroscopy image, is advanced into the bone. After the trocar takes its final position, the inner needle is removed and the outer cannula is left in the bone. Afterwards, the balloon sent through this cannula is inflated inside the broken bone and the collapsed vertebra is regained height. Then, the cement, which has been prepared outside and has reached the consistency of paste, is introduced into the vertebral bone through this cannula. Depending on the doctor’s preference, the balloon may or may not be used. If the balloon is used, the procedure is called kyphoplasty, if the balloon is not used, it is defined as vertebroplasty.
Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is a very low-risk procedure. There is a low risk of infection and bleeding. If there is osteoporosis, lower back and back pain, numbness, tingling complaints may increase. You may need to be treated for osteoporosis to reduce these risks.
Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty is a one-day procedure, it does not require hospitalization. As soon as you come to your room after the procedure is over, you may feel that the pain has been relieved. However, sometimes it may take a few days for the pain to go away. You can leave the hospital and go home on the same day. It may be difficult to drive after the procedure. Therefore, we recommend that you have someone with you.
A pain that can be controlled with painkillers may be felt for a few days at the entry point of the trocar. It will be useful to apply ice therapy to prevent swelling. If there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, discharge in the area where the procedure is applied, if there is excessive bleeding, if the pain complaint is increasing gradually, if you have complaints such as pain, numbness, loss of strength in the legs, consult your doctor.
You can return to daily activities immediately, but it is appropriate not to lift heavy loads for the first 6 weeks after the procedure. We recommend that you should follow the exercise program for the spine.
Generally, within 48 hours after the procedure, the pain due to the fracture disappears and the patient regains their mobility. In some patients, the pain may disappear immediately after the procedure. Most of the patients regain their pre-fracture state within days. After the procedure, 75% of the patients return to their active lives due to the regression of the complaints about the vertebral fracture.