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Vertebroplasty: Indications and benefits

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), which occur when one or more vertebrae in the spine collapse or fracture, often due to osteoporosis or trauma. During vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain. Here are its benefits:

  1. Pain Relief: Vertebroplasty provides rapid and significant pain relief for patients suffering from vertebral compression fractures. The injected bone cement stabilizes the fractured vertebra, reducing pain caused by movement or weight-bearing.
  2. Improved Function: By stabilizing the fractured vertebra, vertebroplasty can improve a patient’s ability to perform daily activities and regain mobility. This can lead to enhanced quality of life and independence.
  3. Minimally Invasive: Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that typically requires only a small incision in the skin. Compared to traditional open surgery, it causes less trauma to surrounding tissues, reduces the risk of complications, and allows for faster recovery times.
  4. Outpatient Procedure: Vertebroplasty is often performed on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can go home the same day as the procedure. This minimizes hospital stays and allows patients to resume their normal activities more quickly.
  5. Prevention of Further Fractures: By stabilizing the fractured vertebra, vertebroplasty may help prevent further collapse or fracture of adjacent vertebrae. This can reduce the risk of developing additional VCFs in the future.
  6. Reduced Pain Medication: After vertebroplasty, many patients experience a significant reduction in pain, which may allow them to decrease or eliminate the need for pain medications. This can improve overall health and reduce the risk of medication-related side effects.
  7. Improved Bone Density: In some cases, the bone cement used in vertebroplasty contains materials that promote bone growth and density. This may help strengthen the surrounding vertebrae and reduce the risk of future fractures.

Overall, vertebroplasty is an effective and minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from vertebral compression fractures, offering rapid pain relief, improved function, and enhanced quality of life. However, like any medical procedure, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare provider to determine if vertebroplasty is the right treatment option for individual patients.

What are vertebral fractures and how they are treated?

Vertebral fractures are breaks or cracks in the bones of the spine, called vertebrae. These fractures can occur due to various reasons, including trauma, osteoporosis (a condition causing weakening of the bones), tumors, or infections. Here’s a brief overview of vertebral fractures and treatment options:

  1. Types of Vertebral Fractures:
    • Compression Fractures: These fractures occur when the front portion of the vertebral body collapses due to compression forces. Compression fractures are commonly associated with osteoporosis.
    • Burst Fractures: These fractures involve the entire vertebral body and may result from significant trauma, such as a fall from height or a motor vehicle accident.
    • Fracture-dislocations: These fractures involve displacement of the vertebral body relative to the adjacent vertebrae and are often associated with high-energy trauma.
  2. Symptoms:
    • Back pain is the most common symptom of vertebral fractures, especially with movement or weight-bearing.
    • Numbness, tingling, or weakness may occur if the fracture compresses spinal nerves or the spinal cord.
  3. Diagnostic Evaluation:
    • Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans are used to diagnose vertebral fractures and evaluate their severity and associated complications.
  4. Treatment Options:
    • Conservative Management: Many vertebral fractures can be managed conservatively with rest, pain medications, and bracing. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve mobility and strength.
    • Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty: For painful compression fractures, minimally invasive procedures such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty may be performed. These procedures involve injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain.
    • Surgery: Surgery may be necessary for certain types of vertebral fractures, particularly those associated with spinal instability, neurological deficits, or progressive deformity. Surgical options include spinal fusion, vertebral augmentation, or instrumentation to stabilize the spine.
    • Management of Underlying Conditions: If vertebral fractures are caused by osteoporosis or other underlying conditions, treatment of the underlying condition is essential to prevent future fractures. This may involve medications to improve bone density, lifestyle modifications, and fall prevention strategies.
  5. Rehabilitation:
    • Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in the recovery from vertebral fractures, particularly for regaining strength, flexibility, and function. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and home exercises may be recommended to facilitate recovery and prevent complications.

Overall, the management of vertebral fractures depends on factors such as the type and severity of the fracture, associated symptoms, and underlying conditions. Treatment is individualized based on the patient’s specific needs and goals, with the aim of relieving pain, restoring function, and preventing complications.

Our Vertebroplasty Doctor

Dr. Nisarg Parikh

Dr. Nisarg Parikh

M.B.B.S. & MS in Orthopaedics ( Spine Surgeon and pain specialist )

Dr. Nisarg Parikh completed his M.B.B.S. and MS in Orthopedics from prestigious Smt. N.H.L. Medical college, V.S. Hospital. After working as an assistant professor in department of orthopedics in same institute he started his career in field of Spine Surgery. He completed rigorous spine training from ace spine institutes from India, Italy and Germany. He was awarded AO Spine Fellowship as well.

2019 March marked the beginning of Swasti Spine and Mind Care, his long-cherished dream of holistic Spine Centre.

Till date he has performed more than 5000 successful spine surgeries. He has presented and published several research papers in national and international conferences and won medals for many presentations. He has co-authored chapters in spine textbook and has been invited as faculty in many spine conferences across India.

Currently he holds position of Director and Consultant Spine Surgeon at Swasti Spine and Mind Care, Ahmedabad. At Sheth. L.G. Hospital and Dr. Jivaraj Mehta Hospital he is serving as an honorary spine surgeon.

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