More than one-fourth of women and many men over the age of 65 will develop compression fractures in their vertebrae due to osteoporosis. These fractures are painful, and cause decreased mobility and accelerated bone loss. In addition, treatment can be very time consuming, uncomfortable and usually include long periods of bed rest, back braces and pain medication.
Today, many seniors who suffer from these debilitating symptoms are candidates for two new treatments - Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. Both of these minimally invasive procedures require only a small incision made at the site of the fracture. Vertebroplasty involves a process where bone cement is injected directly into the fractured bone. This stabilizes the fracture an in many cases provides immediate pain relief. Kyphoplasty involves an additional step. Prior to injecting the bone cement, a tiny balloon is inserted through a needle and gently inflated inside the fractured vertebrae. The balloon creates a pocket or cavity in the vertebrae. The balloon is removed and the bone cement is then injected into the space, filling the area.
Both of these procedures are painless, usually taking less than one hour to perform and relief can be expected almost immediately. Unlike traditional surgery, recovery time is much quicker, and 80-90% of patients report immediate relief from pain and 90-95% of our patients report complete relief from pain within 2 weeks.