Osteoporosis and Kyphoplasty
Vertebral Osteoporosis and Kyphoplasty
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder, characterized by compromised bone strength
from loss of bone mass. This disease effects up to 28 million people in the
United States. Each year 1.5 million fractures occur due to osteoporosis. Approximately
half of these fractures occur in the spine. One vertebral compression fracture
occurs every 45 seconds.
About 260,000 patients are diagnosed with their first painful vertebral compression
fracture every year and the risk of developing another fracture following the
first increases five-fold. These fractures account for 150,000 hospitalizations
every year. Fractures of the spine secondary to osteoporosis negatively affect
pulmonary function. The five-year mortality rate following a vertebral fracture
is significantly higher than in patients without fracture.
The goal of fracture care should be to restore anatomy, relieve pain and restore
function as rapidly as possible. The care of fractures in the elderly is complicated
by multiple medical comorbidities and frail physical status overall. Medical management
can be successful but at the cost of prolonged disability, which negatively
affects physical function and exacerbates additional bone loss. Open surgical
treatment is generally reserved for patients with significant neurological deficits
and has a high complication rate.
Minimally invasive, percutaneous fractures stabilization has emerged as a highly
successful, and safe method for treatment of painful vertebral compression fractures.
Under a light general anaesthetic, in the course of approximately a 45-minute
procedure, the fracture is internally stabilized with acrylic bone cement. Pain
relief is practically instantaneous and most patients can be discharged from
hospital the following day. Post-procedure rehabilitation came commence immediately
A patient's pain medication requirements are significantly reduced and they
can return to their normal activities as soon as possible. Through a new modification
of the technique, kyphoplasty, the fracture is reduced into a more anatomic
position using an inflatable balloon. This prevents the development of the typical
fracture kyphosis and allows for a safer cement injection to reduce the risk
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