This is a treatment option for patients diagnosed with vertebral compression
fractures caused by cancers, osteoporosis, or noncancerous blood vessel
growths called hemangiomas. These compression fractures frequently require
kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty procedures. The fractures happen when the spine’s
bony block collapses. Compression fractures usually cause severe pain
from the instant that they occur, but they can continue to hurt for months,
and even years following. Kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty procedures are needle-based
and usually do not even require the patient to undergo general anesthesia.
The procedure usually only takes 30-45 minutes and patients are then allowed
to recover in the comfort of their own homes.
Several medical conditions commonly treated using kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty
- Cancerous tumors: Vertebral body cancers
- Osteoporosis compression fractures
- Hemangiomas: Blood vessel growths found in the vertebral body that are
On the day of your scheduled procedure, please arrive at least 20 minutes
prior to the start time. Our nurses will get you situated with an IV if
you want sedation and they will then conduct a nurse per-operation assessment.
You will be directed to lie down on a hospital bed in the procedure room
and you will be given nitrous oxide gas and sedation to help make you
more comfortable. At this point, we place cold cleaning solutions on our
patients in order to lessen the chance of infection. Utilizing x-ray guidance,
your doctor will identify the procedure site and place a hollow needle
through the pedicle into the vertebral body. Then, your doctor will insert
a small balloon through the inserted needle and will slowly inflate it
while constantly monitoring its pressure. This has been known to sometimes
restore vertebral body height that was lowered by the fracture. Once we
place the vertebral body in the proper position, the balloon is removed
and replaced with acrylic bone cement. This bone cement is intended to
serve as an internal cast to support and hold the vertebral height, and
reduce pain and inflammation. Some medical professionals have hypothesized
that the heat from the acrylic cement helps to deaden nearby nerves around
the vertebral body, thereby lessening the pain. Once the procedure is
completed, the needles are removed and the procedure site is bandaged.
The acrylic cement hardens quickly and it should be completely set by
the time you get off the procedure table. Most of the time only one needle
placement is necessary. However, if your doctor is unsatisfied with the
results then they may choose to place another needle and repeat the process.
This will ensure proper cement spreading and a complete filling of the
fractured area. Finally, you will be taken to a recovery room after the
procedure is finished and we will observe you for 30 minutes to make sure
everything went well.
What to Expect Afterwards
After we observe you for half an hour in the recovery room, you will be
allowed to leave and recover in the comfort of your own home. You will
be under no specific restrictions, as the cement will have hardened by
the time you leave our care. Some patients report feeling immediate pain
relief and others report feeling it within several days. The site if the
injection will most likely be sore so make sure to treat it with anti-inflammatories,
pain medication, and ice. The bandages over your procedure site can be
removed a day after the procedure is completed. You are free to shower,
exercise, and engage in normal everyday activities if you wish, depending
on your level of comfort. Finally, you will be scheduled for an office
visit three to four weeks afterwards to discuss your results and progress.
For more information regarding kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty procedures, please
call Interventional Pain Management, a department of BRMC, at (870) 508-5900.