Surgical Procedures Performed at Marina del Rey Hospital for Vertebral Compression Fractures
Surgical treatment of vertebral compression fractures is considered when a patient has persisting severe pain that cannot be resolved with conservative treatment methods. The two minimally invasive surgical options available for VCF are vertebral augmentation methods, such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. The most suitable method is chosen based on the type of VCF.
- Kyphoplasty: This procedure is done under general anesthesia or after ther administration of local anesthesia that numbs the region surrounding the fracture. During the procedure, the surgeon will make two small incisions, through which a needle will be passed into the broken vertebra under radiographic guidance. Through this needle, a tiny device called a balloon tamp will be inserted into the broken vertebra, which is then inflated in order to restore the height of the vertebral body. The balloon tamp is then withdrawn to leave behind space for a special kind of bone cement, which is filled into the area to strengthen the vertebra.
- Vertebroplasty: This surgical procedure is commonly performed on an outpatient basis, but may sometimes require an overnight stay at the hospital. Under the radiographic guidance, a fine needle filled with special acrylic bone cement is directly injected into the broken vertebra. This cement becomes hard within a few minutes, thereby strengthening and stabilizing the spine.
Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery for VCF can expect a speedy return to their routine activities.
Drugs and Other Treatment Needed for Vertebral Compression Fractures
In the majority of patients, VCF often resolves within three months without any specific treatment for fracture repair. In these cases, achieving pain relief is important, as it improves mobility and helps to promote comfortable sleep. Taking pain medications and bed rest for a short period of time is sufficient in most VCF cases. A doctor may also advise wearing a brace to control movements and facilitate healing.
Bed Rest »
Back Bracing »