Vertebral Augmentation Surgery

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Evolution of Vertebral Augmentation Surgery

Vertebral augmentation procedures are the main surgical treatment option for vertebral compression fractures that meet operative indications. The two most commonly used procedures are the vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Vertebroplasty, introduced in the U.S. back in the early 1990s, involves injecting cement into a fractured vertebra which can relieve pain, restore vertebral height, and restore spinal mobility.

The procedure is usually done quickly without the need to stay in the hospital overnight. It may be performed with a local anesthetic and intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia. Using x-ray guidance, a small needle containing specially formulated bone cement is injected into the collapsed vertebra. The cement hardens within minutes, strengthening and stabilizing the fractured vertebra. Most experts believe that pain relief is achieved through mechanical support and stability provided by the bone cement. Kyphoplasty is a modification of this technique where a balloon is used to help guide the cement and increase the height of the collapsed bone.

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