New Report on Safety of Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a safe and effective way to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. It can reduce the fracture and restore spine alignment. It can also restore some of the height lost in the spine from the collapse that occurs with VCF.

These are the results of a study from a group of spine surgeons who did 254 kyphoplasty operations at their spine center. Kyphoplasty involves inserting a long, thin needle into the vertebral body. A small balloon is inflated inside the fractured, collapsed bone. The balloon makes a cavity inside the vertebral body. Cement is injected into the cavity to repair the damage.

Almost everyone had pain relief right away. Those who still had pain often had a second or third bone fracture in the spine. Another measure of success was restored height of the vertebral bone. Using X-rays, the researchers were able to show up to a 50 percent increase in height after kyphoplasty.

The authors say that kyphoplasty can even be used on old fractures. Patients in their study who had pain for months from VCFs improved after kyphoplasty. The low rate of complications from this operation makes it a good option for VCFs.

Mohammad E. Majd, MD, et al. Preliminary Outcomes and Efficacy of the First 360 Consecutive Kyphoplasties for the Treatment of Painful Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures. In The Spine Journal. May/June 2005. Vol. 5. No. 3. Pp. 244-255.

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