Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Center : Nakornthon Absolute Spine Care

Article by : Dr. Sittipong Suttiudom

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

In patients with deformed vertebrae due to osteoporosis, as well as patients with spinal tumors and spinal cord injuries, Vertebroplasty is a technique that improves the strength of the spine by cement injection. Kyphoplasty has a similar principle to Vertebroplasty, unlike the conventional technique: Kyphoplasty uses a balloon to stretch in the perforated spine area. Because the balloon retains the shape of the spine that is broken or collapsed, it reduces the occurrence of deformed vertebrae, as well as preventing repeated fractures.


What happens when you are not receiving this kind of treatment?

It is important to diagnose and treat a broken spine promptly. The outcome will be highly advantageous when treated immediately. Spinal fractures and thin bone decay increase the risk of fracturing the spine easily. In the case of a noticeable change in the ability to breathe, walk, eat and sleep is reduced, you should consult your doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.


How can you do this?

You will need to undergo a radiological diagnosis before performing the procedure to confirm the correct position of the fractured vertebrae. The anesthesiologist will consider the right method for you. The first step of the procedure is to lay face down on the surgical bed, and then the doctor will make a small incision on the spine area, then the needle will be inserted and the bone cement will be infused in the damaged spine. Controlled positioning is done by x-ray. Once all the bone cement is infused, the doctor gradually removes the needle and closes the incision. It takes approximately an hour per spine to perform vertebroplasty or balloon kyphoplasty, except before injecting bone cement, it is necessary to use a stretched balloon to create a gap and then filled with bone cement.


Potential risks

The risks of complications may arise like in any other surgical procedure. The doctor's consideration for this procedure is that there must be a better outcome rather than a negative effect on the patient. Complications can arise from your current health condition or spinal procedures, for example:

  • A new fracture occurs
  • Spinal infections are rare
  • The nerves surrounding the spinal cord are damaged, which may cause you to still have pain after several weeks.
  • Inflammation
  • It is rare that the cement leaks through the back of the spine and presses on the nerve, which may cause arm-leg weakness

Post-operative care

After the procedure, the staff will transport you to the recovery room. The nurse will continue to monitor vital signs and assess back pain for the next 2 hours. During your hospital stay, you are able to get up, walk, and move. It usually requires only 1-night hospital stay.


Advice before returning from the hospital

Discomfort : You will be given pain relievers after the procedure. But because some pain relievers are addictive and it may also cause constipation therefore can only be used for a short time, you should drink plenty of water and have fiber rich foods, if you do not have much pain, you can take pain relievers such as paracetamol.


Activity

  • Avoid strenuous or extreme activities. Including improper posture, such as bending back, twisting posture or waist twisting
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects more than 5 kg.
  • Do not drive-in vehicles for a period of 2 weeks.
  • Sometimes you may need to wear a binder when standing or walking, but you do not need to wear it when going to bed.
  • Avoid sitting for more than 20-30 minutes in each time.
  • Walking is important and helps you recover quickly. At first, you should walk at least a few times a day and then gradually increase the distance your body can.
  • You can walk up and down the stairs. As required but be careful of accidental falls which is extremely important.
  • Before you get out of bed you must turn your whole body facing to one side first.

Wound care

Keep the wound dry and clean within 24 hours, after which you can take a shower, but do not soak in the bathtub, then gently pat the wound, and let it dry.


Important signs that requires immediate medical attention

  • Has a body temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius and redness and swelling in the wound area or secretions on the wound.
  • Difficulty walking or changing the pattern of the urinary and excretory system
  • Increased back pain
  • Chest tightness and trouble breathing

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