Please contact our office to confirm your appointment request here Thank you

Skip to main content

Understanding the Differences Between Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty

Understanding the Differences Between Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty

Medical terms like vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can sound scary, but fortunately, the procedures aren’t. They’re minimally invasive surgical options to treat cracked or broken vertebrae and help relieve pain.

 At three Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center locations in Western Pennsylvania and an expansion office in South Florida, Dr. Jocelyn Idema and our skilled staff diagnose and treat a variety of spine and orthopedic issues, including problems with the vertebrae.

Spinal anatomy

The spine plays a crucial role in just about every movement we make, from sitting and standing to walking, bending, and twisting. It also gives us our shape and supports the body.

 The spine forms an S and is made up of bones, joints, discs, and soft tissues along with the spinal cord and nerves. It extends from the neck to the tailbone and consists of 33 vertebrae.

Back pain causes

About 80% of people in the United States experience back pain at some point. Reasons range from injuries, infections, and diseases to issues such as bone spurs and arthritis due to aging and wear and tear.

 Some back pain results from compression fractures, which cause vertebrae to collapse and reduce the space between them. Parts of the bone might press on the spinal cord and nerves. Osteoporosis is the most frequent culprit, though injuries and tumors can also play a role.

Symptoms and diagnosis

You may not notice symptoms of a compression fracture at first. Eventually, you may experience pain when standing, that is often relieved by lying on your back. Limited spinal movement, a loss of height, and a stooped posture are other signs.

 At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, we diagnose spinal fractures using physical exams and state-of-the-art imaging that may include X-rays, CT scans, or MRI testing. Your provider may recommend a bone density scan if they suspect osteoporosis.

Treatment

Treatment typically starts with conservative options, such as pain medication and rest, before resuming limited activity. A back brace and physical therapy may also help. We might recommend medication and vitamins to strengthen bones if osteoporosis is involved.

Surgery may be necessary for people who haven't found relief.

Surgical options

The two primary surgeries to address a compression fracture are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, both performed in-office at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center. 

Both are minimally invasive and involve the injection of a quick-setting medical cement into the damaged vertebrae with a small needle. The cement stabilizes the vertebrae and restores mobility without pain.

Differences

Vertebroplasty is the easiest of the two treatments; it only cements the fractures and stabilizes the bones. It’s typically recommended for simple fractures and doesn’t restore height to the vertebrae.

With kyphoplasty, we first insert a balloon into the fractured area and inflate it to return the vertebrae to their original height. 

 If you're experiencing ongoing back pain, a proper diagnosis and individualized treatment plan are essential whether you have a compression fracture or something else. Call the location nearest you or request your appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

3 Telltale Signs of Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

3 Telltale Signs of Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

Facet joint osteoarthritis can cause back pain and stiffness that affects mobility. Untreated, it can worsen and lead to bone spurs, joint enlargement, and pinched nerves. Read on to learn what signs to look out for.
Am I Eligible for an Microscopic Discectomy?

Am I Eligible for an Microscopic Discectomy?

Minimally invasive microscopic discectomies offer many benefits for herniated disc repair, including smaller incisions and faster recovery times. Read on to learn more about the procedure and who makes a good candidate.
 Is Working from Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Is Working from Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Working from home offers flexibility, which is great, but can lead to neck pain, which isn’t. Read on to learn more about the causes of work-related neck pain and how to combat it.
How Weight Loss Can Help You Resolve Sciatica

How Weight Loss Can Help You Resolve Sciatica

Sciatica pain starts in the lower back and travels down the buttocks and rear of the leg. It often results from the nerve being pinched or compressed. Carrying excess weight can play a role. Read on to learn more.
Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

Aging is well-known to increase the incidence of health issues from fading eyesight to aching joints to back pain. Does this mean you should just accept symptoms as normal? Not at all.