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Osteoporosis and vertebral fractures - Baloon Kyphoplasty Print E-mail


Even if you cannot feel your bones becoming more fragile with age, perhaps you have experienced without knowing the incident a vertebral fracture. A sudden severe waist pain or back pain during daily activity is an indication that has a vertebral fracture has occurred.

For most people it is inconceivable that a fracture may be occurred during a mild daily activity. Thus, many times, the pain after such a fracture is attributed to chronic problems of the waist or muscular spasm (cramp). This error occurs even more frequently in cases where, although vertebral fracture has occurred, the pain is mild and tolerable or even imperceptible.

The symptoms most commonly associated with vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis or tumors are:

• Sudden appearance of pain in the back or waist disassociated or not compatible with the level of activity
• the pain worsens on sitting and standing positions
• the pain usually subsides with lying

If you experience a vertebral fracture which is not diagnosed early or one treated without surgery, either there will be bone porosis at the position found after the fracture or the vertebra will continue to settle and deform. This can affect the shape of the vertebra and thus the shape of the entire spine. So you may notice that:

• You have lost height
• Your back leans forward (kyphosis)
• Your clothes do not suit you as before
• You have chronic pain in the back or waist

Why fractures of the vertebra from osteoporosis need treatment?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that leads to a gradual decrease in bone mass and increases the fracture possibility with minimal force. The area most affected is the spine. Thus, osteoporotic fractures of the vertebral body are most often a major cause of morbidity among people suffering from osteoporosis. One or more osteoporotic fractures in the spine cause chronic pain, deformity, increase the risk of conducting further fractures in other vertebras while cause reduction in mobility of the patient with immediate effect in reducing lung function, quality of life and increased mortality.

In what symptoms an automatic vertebral fracture is manifested?

Osteoporotic vertebral fractures may occur either by accident (like a fall in the house), or automatically, without apparent incident (by lifting a small daily weight). Many times, the initial precipitation of a vertebra is not directly perceived and the pain is attributed to common causes of back pain. There are cases where the diagnosis is made much later, when the amount of one or more vertebras is reduced enough and the deformation (kyphosis and decrease of the patient’s height) is already prominent.


Height reduction after successive osteoporotic vertebral fractures. 



4 level Baloon Kyfoplasty



How are osteoporotic treated vertebral fractures so far?

The traditional treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures involves medication with powerful painkillers, rest in bed, splint application and nursing care. This treatment gradually reduces the pain of the patient, but cannot prevent or restore spinal deformity.

What is kyphoplasty?

The Balloon Kyphoplasty is a percutaneous, minimally invasive method that can directly stabilize the vertebral fracture by eliminating pain and reducing the functionality while correcting the deformation of the vertebral body.

How is kyphoplasty performed?

The patient is accessed in the prone position, either under local or general anesthesia. With the help of X-ray machinery, a special balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra, through which the reduction of the compression fracture is performed. Then the balloon is removed and the cavity of the fractured vertebra is filled with sclerosing substance which solidifies instantly maintaining the restoration of the vertebra. The procedure lasts about half an hour while the patient remains in hospital for 24 hours.

Restoration of the fractured vertebral body with the baloon

X-ray control of the fracture reduction

By whom is this method applied?

This method is applied in the last decade in Europe with excellent results, while in recent years it is carried out in Greece too. It is mainly performed by orthopedic surgeons involved in spine surgery who received proper training and certification for the use of the method.

The method is performed transdermally, without incision and guided with the help of X-ray machinery.

What are the results of kyphoplasty?

Medical reports show significant improvement in patients undergoing balloon kyphoplasty with results like:

• Correction of the vertebral deformity
• Immediate pain relief
• Rapid mobilization
• Improving life quality
• Improve the ability to perform daily activities
-Low rate of complications

The method is nowadays considered as the most direct, effective and safe for the treatment of osteoporotic fractures of the vertebras while its application expands continuously tending to become the "gold standard" for treatment and rehabilitation of the effects of osteoporosis in the spine.