Nonsurgical Vertebroplasty/Kyphoplasty Is Effective Pain Treatment for Spinal Fractures Caused by Osteoporosis or Bone Tumors
Vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty is a pain treatment for vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy, such as minimal or no pain relief with analgesics or narcotic doses that are intolerable. Vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty, a nonsurgical treatment performed by interventional radiologists using imaging guidance, stabilizes the collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement into the spine. A needle about the width of a cocktail straw is inserted through the skin and into the fractured bone and the cement is injected. The cement hardens, stabilizes the bone and prevents further collapse.
Vertebroplasty dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure, provides long-term pain relief and has a low complication rate, as demonstrated in multiple studies.
If the vertebra isn’t shored up, it can heal in a compressed or flattened wedge shape. Once this occurs, the compression fracture cannot be treated effectively. It is very important for someone with persistent spinal pain lasting more than three months to consult an interventional radiologist, and people who require constant pain relief with narcotics should seek help immediately.