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Vertebroplasty

Shyam Purswani, MD

Interventional Pain Management located in San Antonio, TX

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that effectively strengthens your spine when vertebrae develop compression fractures. Shyam Purswani, MD, performs vertebroplasty and a similar procedure, kyphoplasty, in the office, where his extensive experience helps patients find relief from their pain. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, call the office in San Antonio, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Vertebroplasty Q & A

What condition is treated with vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty treats vertebral compression fractures. A compression fracture occurs when a bone collapses because it’s too weak to support the weight. Osteoporosis is the top cause of compression fractures, which most often affect the spine. As a result, they’re called vertebral compression fractures.

Anyone can develop osteoporosis because bones naturally eliminate old and damaged tissue throughout adulthood. At the same time, bone production slows down as you get older. When bone loss outpaces new bone production, your bones become weak and brittle.

What is the difference between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures performed to treat vertebral compression fractures. Both strengthen vertebrae affected by compression fractures and help to stabilize your spine.

The difference between them is that kyphoplasty also restores height that was lost when the vertebrae collapsed. Kyphoplasty is the best choice if you develop kyphosis.

What causes kyphosis?

Kyphosis is an outward curvature of the spine that develops when several vertebrae in your upper back suffer compression fractures. Compression fractures make the front of the bone collapse, while the back part of the bone remains its normal height. When several adjacent vertebrae develop a compression fracture, their wedge-shaped bones form a rounded hump.

How are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty performed?

Dr. Purswani performs both procedures in the office using a local anesthetic. During vertebroplasty, he inserts a hollow needle through your back and into the affected vertebra. Once fluoroscopic imaging verifies the needle is in place, he injects bone cement into the fractured bone.

During kyphoplasty, Dr. Purswani first inserts a balloon and inflates it to restore the vertebra back to its normal height. Then the balloon is removed and the space is filled with bone cement.

After every vertebra with a compression fracture is treated, the injected cement strengthens the bones, your pain is relieved, and future fractures are prevented.

After your procedure is finished, you’ll need to take it easy for the next two weeks. Dr. Purswani gives you specific post-op care instructions, but as a general guideline, you’ll need to avoid lifting, twisting, and bending your back. It’s also important to stay away from strenuous activity and to not lift anything heavier than five pounds.

If you experience pain due to vertebral compression fractures, or you develop severe kyphosis, call Shyam Purswani, MD, to learn whether you’re a good candidate for vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.