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Vertebral augmentation is a form of minimally invasive surgery used to treat instability and compression fractures with cement. Vertebral augmentation is preferred when more conservative strategies such as bed rest and braces aren’t effective and when surgery is not an ideal option. It can be used to treat structural bone problems caused by osteoporosis, cancer, and other bone-weakening conditions. Kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty and sacroplasty are all forms of vertebral augmentation that the skilled surgeons at Kayal Pain & Spine Center have mastered.
Kyphoplasty uses a cement cast to restore a collapsed vertebra. A needle is placed directly into the vertebra, where a balloon (a bone tamp) is inserted and inflated. This opens up the collapsed vertebra, creating a hollow cavity in the middle of the bone. The bone tamp is then deflated and removed. Your surgeon injects bone cement into the now-open cavity. The cement fills up the open space, hardens and ultimately creates a cast inside the vertebra.
Vertebroplasty is similar to kyphoplasty, but is performed without a balloon. Instead, a needle is pushed directly into the vertebra, which is then used to inject bone cement. The cement quickly spreads through the cracks and weakened areas of the bone and then hardens, gluing the vertebra back together. Sacroplasty follows the same process as vertebroplasty, but the bone cement is injected into the sacrum instead of the vertebra.
What to expect before, during and after vertebral augmentation
Vertebral augmentation is a fairly quick procedure, as it only takes bone cement approximately six minutes to harden. Immediately before your procedure, you will be connected to a live X-ray that your surgeon will use to guide the needle into the bone. You will also be given a local or general anesthetic, ensuring you feel no pain throughout the procedure.
Patients who receive vertebral augmentation are usually able to go home the same day and pain relief often occurs immediately. You can return to all your regular activities after taking it easy for a few days.
Discover the advantages
The primary benefits of vertebral augmentation are a strengthened spine, as well as significant pain reduction that leads to improved quality of life, increased mobility and happiness. Vertebral augmentation can also restore vertebrae to their natural height and position. Spinal deformities caused by spinal compression are reduced or minimized, helping you regain your posture and eliminate painful muscle spasms. Vertebral augmentation also may be used to strengthen fractured bones before they collapse.
Because vertebral augmentation uses minimally invasive techniques, healing and recovery are faster than traditional surgery. In addition, no bracing is required. Patients who receive kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty or sacroplasty, typically walk away with a simple bandage over the needle injection point. No stitches or sutures are required and scarring is minimally visible, if it occurs at all.
When you undergo vertebral augmentation at Kayal Pain & Spine Center, it has preventive benefits, too, eliminating complications that can occur if painful compression fractures don’t heal on their own. Elderly patients, in particular, are prone to becoming bedbound from the fracture pain, leading to other medical conditions, such as bedsores, blood clots and infection. Vertebral augmentation keeps patients out of bed and on the move.