What Is Vertebral Augmentation?
Vertebral augmentation refers to a group of procedures deployed in the treatment of collapsed vertebral fractures. Collapsed vertebral fractures may be caused by minor trauma to the back where a patient has osteoporosis (a condition that makes the bones weaker). It could also be due to major trauma, say from an accident. It is usually accompanied by pain and loss of vertebral height.
What Are The Types Of Vertebral Augmentation Procedures?
There are two major types of vertebral augmentation which are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.
- Vertebroplasty involves the introduction of bone cement material into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain.
- Kyphoplasty involves the introduction of a small balloon into the fractured vertebra. This restores the broken pieces to their original positions and creates a defined cavity for the injection of bone cement.
A third and far less common option is called radio frequency-targeted vertebral augmentation which does not use the balloon but introduces the bone cement in small volumes to prevent adverse outcomes like leakages or spinal cord trauma.
Why Would I Need A Vertebral Augmentation?
We perform vertebral augmentation for patients with vertebral compression fractures where pain and vertebral height loss may be a problem. We reserve this treatment for patients with severe pain or height loss.
The procedure is an outpatient treatment hence most patients can leave the hospital on the same day of treatment. Bedrest and minimal physical activity is advised for the first 24 hours at least.
Vertebral augmentation is contraindicated in patients with coagulation disorders
Is Vertebral Augmentation Safe And Effective?
Yes, it is. We ensure that only patients in severe pain and who will benefit immensely from the procedure undergo it. Our seasoned experts limit the size of the incision to under an inch. Also, the cannula for the injection of the line cement is inserted under fluoroscopy. .
Following the procedure, you may be observed for about an hour before you are cleared to go home. Most patients report significant relief within 24 to 48 hours.
What Are The Risks Associated With Vertebral Augmentation?
There are some potential risks associated with vertebral augmentation. However, they rarely occur. A major one is the potential for bone cement to seep out of the vertebra into surrounding soft tissue or impinge on the spinal cord. Depending on the amount of material that leaks, this can go from moderate to severe pain and neurological issues.
Allergy to contrast media for fluoroscopy is also a potential risk. Patients must be cleared to have an excellent renal function since contrast media can reduce renal function.
Minor issues like pain at the site of injection will resolve over a few days. Ice packs and analgesics come in handy in managing these.
How Do I Prepare For Vertebral Augmentation?
Before you undergo the procedure, we will need to complete some blood work and X-ray examinations.
Unless we need to observe you for longer, you should be out of the hospital some 2 to 3 hours after your procedure. So you can come along with a book or a pair of headphones to keep you occupied.
Since the procedure is minimally invasive, you can return to most of your daily activities on the same day. If you like, you can come to the hospital with a friend or relative to drive you home once you’re done.
Speak With Our Qualified Professionals
The Advanced Medical Treatment Centre provides top-quality emergency care for trauma and accident cases. We have a team committed to improving the health and wellness of our patients through excellent diagnosis and management. We offer a range of services that provide relief from lumbar radiculopathy. To speak to one of our qualified professionals about one of these, book a consultation today!