Since childhood, we are told time and again to stand tall, sit straight and maintain a good posture. We can do this only because of the spinal column. However, with age, the spinal column may be affected by osteoporosis. This is a muscular skeletal degenerative disease that reduces bone density. In the case of the spine, it can cause deformities, vertebral compression fractures and can even be fatal. Thankfully, these fractures can be treated with medication and surgical intervention.
Kyphoplasty is one of the surgical procedures commonly used to treat spinal osteoporosis fractures. This is a minimally-invasive surgery that aims at reducing pain, stabilizing the vertebrae and restoring the normal height of the spine. This surgery may be performed under local or general anesthesia. To begin the procedure, a small incision is made in the back. The doctor then places a narrow tube through this incision and uses fluoroscopy to place it correctly in the pedicle of the broken vertebrae. A balloon is then inserted through the tube and carefully inflated. As the balloon inflates, it elevates the vertebrae and returns the spine to a normal position. This balloon also creates a cavity inside the vertebra by compacting the soft inner bone. Once this cavity has been created, the balloon is deflated and removed. A cement-like material known as polymethylmethacrylate is then injected into the cavity to fill it up. This cement hardens quickly and stabilizes the spinal column. The procedure may then be repeated on the other side to correct deformities and ensure uniformity.