Vertebral augmentation refers to a category of procedures that require the use of surgery, done to help provide stability to the patient’s vertebra that is fractured and reduce pain caused by the fractured vertebra. The three different procedures that are categorized under vertebral augmentation are balloon kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty, and radiofrequency vertebral augmentation.
Patients that undergo one of the vertebral augmentation procedures have endured some type of spinal compression fracture. Patients suffering from osteoporosis that have undergone some form of minor trauma
to the back have greater likelihood of suffering from a spinal compression fracture as osteoporosis is a condition that leaves the spinal vertebrae in a vulnerable state, which means that even the most minute of injuries can result in a compression fracture. Other causes of compression fracture include infection of the spine or possible existence of a tumor.
Each form of vertebral augmentation procedure is minimally-invasive and the patient for the most part is discharged on the same day or in some cases, may be required to stay in the hospital overnight. All of the procedures do require the insertion of a cement substance into the interior section of the fractured vertebrae, creating a cast that serves to provide stability and minimize the pain the patient experiences.
Vertebroplasty is a surgical procedure done to help provide stability to the fractured spine and to eliminate the sensation of pain resulting from the fracture. The procedure is minimally-invasive for the simple fact that it requires only a minute puncture into the patient’s skin.
Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure done to to help reduce the pain brought on by a spinal fracture which results in the bone becoming unstable and even a decrease in the individual’s height due to the compressive nature of the fracture. In addition to reducing the pain, the surgery seeks to provide stability to the bone structure as well as possibly partially or fully restoring lost vertebrae height.