Another spinal condition that is associated with old age and at times poor health, are vertebral compression fractures. These are breaks in the frontal boney mass at each spinal segment due to usually age-related porosity and brittleness of the bones (osteoporosis).
These breaks can occur with innocuous trauma, such as minor fall from standing height or bed. And in some severe cases of osteoporosis, simply through day to day movement and usage of the spine.
While these breaks rarely cause nerve or spinal cord damage, they can be very painful and restrictive as the spinal column supports the whole body. As this breaks occur in the older age group, the healing time is often protracted, and the collapse of the spine often leads to ugly and debilitating stooped postures.
Balloon Kyphoplasty is a safe and quick percutaneous procedure that rapidly ease the suffering from these fractures or breaks. Through a tiny cut in the skin, a balloon is threaded through the bone under X-ray guidance, and inflated to restore the height of the collapsed bone segment. Special bone cement, similar to those used in hip/knee replacement surgery is then carefully injected to fill up the space. The cement hardens within minutes, stabilising the broken segment, and thus reduce the pain dramatically, often before the patient leaves the treatment facility! And because the procedure is performed through tiny cuts in the skin, the patient only requires mild supervised sedation, avoiding the need for general surgery. It can thus be performed on virtually patients of any age group or with multiple medical.