The bones that make up your spine can weaken and break resulting in chronic back pain, hunched posture, and lost height. It usually occurs when a bloc-like part of the spine’s vertebrae become compressed due to trauma or disease.
Several factors can cause vertebral compression fractures, such as osteoporosis, pathological fractures, and trauma caused by an injury. Patients who are suffering from vertebral compression fractures often complain about pain in their lower back that travels upward to their neck. Some also complain about experiencing abdominal, hip, and thigh pain. There are times when patients also feel numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation which makes them unable to control their bladder, resulting in incontinence or urinary retention.
If you think you may be suffering from a vertebral compression fracture, it is best to seek the help of a pain management doctor. In cases where patients experience severe and chronic pain, spine surgery consultation is advised. There are various treatments and procedures that can be done to relieve pain for patients. The two of the most popular spinal procedures are Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty.
Kyphoplasty vs. Vertebroplasty
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are techniques or procedures for vertebral augmentations. Both procedures are minimally invasive surgeries performed to immediately stabilize vertebral fractures, provide treatment for pain, and prevent progressive spinal deformity. Both spine treatments are ideally recommended for patients who are suffering from painful and progressive back pain that causes osteoporotic and pathological vertebral compression fractures. It is best for candidates who have reduced abilities to move and function due to the fractures.
During both procedures, patients lay on their stomach while a surgeon inserts a hollow needle, called a trocar, through the skin and into the vertebrae. Fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray, is used to ensure that the needle is properly placed.
Although kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are similar, there are differences between these procedures. Here are some of the key differences:
- A vertebroplasty procedure is generally performed with the patient sedated but awake, while a kyphoplasty procedure is performed with the use of general or local anesthesia.
- A thin needle cannula is inserted in the vertebrae for vertebroplasty, while a balloon catheter is guided into the vertebrae for a kyphoplasty.
- For a vertebroplasty procedure, bone cement is injected directly into the fractured vertebra. The cement hardens in about 10 minutes, congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra which helps provide immediate stability. During a kyphoplasty procedure, the balloon catheter is inflated. As the balloon inflates, it helps to actively restore collapsed vertebrae. Once the balloon is completely inflated and then deflated, the cavity created for the catheter is placed with thick bone cement that hardens in place, providing relief to patients.
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty procedures provide pain relief and improved mobility within 48 hours. There are also some who feel instant relief as soon as the cement and balloon catheter are placed.
While both procedures are highly effective, your doctor may recommend one over the other, depending on your back issue, the severity of the problem, and other factors. To determine which of these two procedures is right for you, talk to a qualified and experienced doctor.
Chronic Back Pain Relief in the Pacific Northwest
If you have been suffering in decreased mobility and chronic back pain due to vertebral compression fractures, the doctors at Lynx Healthcare can help you find relief. Lynx Healthcare physicians can help you find the best treatment for your pain.
To make an appointment, please call (509) 591-0070 or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!