Fractures of the vertebral bodies occur especially commonly among women with osteoporosis (bone loss). The reduced bone density in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine leads to very painful fractures of the vertebrae. This leads to spinal instability, vertebral deformities and a reduction in height.
But patients who have had spinal trauma or an osteolytic (bone-destroying) tumour of the spine can also develop vertebral body fractures. To stabilise the affected areas and to fill up the space between them, we use kyphoplasty, which is a more advanced version of vertebroplasty.
With a classical vertebroplasty, cavities are filled under high pressure with bone cement during a minimally invasive procedure. This fixes the bone in place and reduces the pain (by up to 70%). This avoids the need for open surgery on the back.
The procedure with kyphoplasty is different: under local anaesthetics, we first introduce a balloon which straightens the collapsed areas out again. Once the balloon is removed, special bone cement fills up the cavity left behind. This procedure markedly reduces the risk of cement leakage compared to vertebroplasty. Furthermore, a disease-related reduction in height can, in ideal situations, be corrected.