Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are both minimally invasive procedures used to treat vertebral compression fractures, typically caused by osteoporosis, cancer, or traumatic injury. However, there are key differences between the two:
- Procedure Technique:
- Vertebroplasty: Involves the direct injection of bone cement (such as polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA) into the fractured vertebra. The procedure is primarily aimed at stabilizing the fracture and relieving pain.
- Kyphoplasty: Similar to vertebroplasty, but with an additional step. Before injecting the cement, a small balloon is inserted and inflated within the fractured vertebra. This balloon creates a space and aims to restore some of the lost vertebral height and correct deformities before the cement is injected.
- Objective and Outcomes:
- Vertebroplasty: Mainly focuses on pain relief and stabilization of the fracture.
- Kyphoplasty: Aims not only to relieve pain and stabilize the fracture but also to restore vertebral height and reduce spinal deformity.
- Risks and Complications:
- Both procedures carry risks such as infection, bleeding, increased back pain, and leakage of the cement. However, the risk of cement leakage tends to be lower in kyphoplasty due to the space created by the balloon, which allows for a more controlled injection of the cement.
- Cost and Availability:
- Typically, kyphoplasty is more expensive than vertebroplasty due to the additional equipment (balloons) and steps involved.
- Recovery and Effectiveness:
- Both procedures generally have similar recovery times and effectiveness in terms of pain relief. The choice between the two often depends on the specific medical circumstances of the patient and the goals of treatment.
It’s important for patients to discuss with MIVA specialists which procedure is most suitable for them, taking into consideration their overall health, the specifics of their spinal fracture, and their treatment goals. The decision will be influenced by factors such as the severity of the vertebral collapse, the presence of spinal deformity, and individual patient characteristics.