Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Kyphoplasty and verebroplasty are minimally invasive surgical procedures commonly performed to treat spinal compression fractures, also known as vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). Osteoporosis causes twice as many spinal fractures than hip fractures. Spinal fractures can also be caused by cancer, the most common being multiple myeloma.
Some spinal fractures collapse suddenly, while others collapse more slowly over time. Left untreated, one fracture can lead to additional fractures, often resulting in kyphosis, or rounded upper back and the dowager’s hump. Kyphosis can compress the chest and abdominal cavity, which can cause other health problems.
During kyphoplasty a catheter that is inserted into the spine. A small balloon is then inflated to raise the collapsed vertebra to its normal position. The void created is filled with a special bone cement, forming an internal cast to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse of the vertebra.
Vertebroplasty is a similar procedure in which quick-drying bone cement is injected directly into the damaged bone without use of a balloon.
Both procedures are performed by an interventional radiologist, and usually take about one hour per fracture and may require an overnight hospital stay. Based on the patient’s overall condition, either local or general anesthesia may be utilized.