In cases of osteoporosis where a vertebral compression fracture is causing severe pain or deformity that has not resolved with the use of a back brace, spinal surgery may become necessary.
What does it involve?
Spinal surgery for osteoporosis is minimally invasive and may or may not require overnight admission to a hospital. The procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia.
There are two main types of surgery for vertebral compression fractures. Both are guided by X-ray imaging and may involve a small incision or a needle only. In vertebroplasty, the surgeon injects a highly specialized cement mixture into the collapsed vertebra. When the cement hardens, the vertebra will be stabilized. Stabilization prevents painful friction, further collapse, and the development of deformity.
Kyphoplasty is similar to vertebroplasty, but with an additional step. The surgeon first inserts a small balloon into the compressed vertebra and inflates it to create space. They then inject the bone cement.
After surgery, you will lie still for about an hour while the cement hardens. You may stay in the hospital for some additional hours for observation, or be admitted overnight. You may need to wear a brace during recovery. Avoid heavy lifting for six weeks after spine surgery.
Spine surgery can restore stability to fractured vertebrae, reduce pain, and return mobility.
Approximately 75 percent of people who receive vertebroplasty regain mobility and activity. After receiving percutaneous (via a needle through the skin) vertebroplasty, many people report 90 percent or greater reduction in pain within one or two days. Percutaneous vertebroplasty has been demonstrated to relieve pain for approximately three years.
Spinal surgery may not be effective in easing your pain or restoring mobility.
Any surgery carries risks including blood clots, blood loss, infection, breathing problems, reactions to medication, and heart attack or stroke during the surgery.
Rare but serious complications specific to spinal surgery can include spinal cord injury, nerve pain, continued or worsening spine pain, leakage of bone cement into tissues, sexual dysfunction, and transitional syndrome, wherein the segment of the spine adjacent to the repaired portion takes on more stress and becomes injured.
Call your doctor immediately if you notice signs of infection such as swelling, redness, increased pain, or bleeding from the surgical wound.
You may require revision surgery if you experience complications from your spinal surgery.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Kyphoplasty - Johns Hopkins Medicine
Vertebroplasty - Johns Hopkins Medicine
Vetebroplasty Procedure - Spine-health
Description of Kyphoplasty Surgery - Spine-health
Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty - RadiologyInfo.org