10 Sep Vertebroplasty Surgery as a Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
As we age, our joints and bones become weaker, leading to fractures and back pain. Spinal stenosis is the shortening of the spaces between our vertebrae. This space holds sensitive nerves that can cause chronic pain when compressed. Vertebroplasty is used for patients who have fractured their spines and need to stabilize the vertebra, relieving the pressure on the precious nerves.
What is Vertebroplasty Surgery?
Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a special form of cement is injected into a fractured vertebra to stabilize the bone. The goal of this procedure is to relieve spinal pain, restore mobility, and restore flexibility. Not all people with fractured vertebrae are candidates for the procedure. When a vertebral body fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed, causing pain from the compression and inflammation on surrounding nerves. These compression fractures may involve the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine and are a common result of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that results in a loss of normal bone density, mass, and strength, leading to a condition in which bones become increasingly porous and vulnerable to breaking easily.
Vertebrae may also become weakened by cancer. During a vertebroplasty, a trained professional will use image guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone through a hollow needle. A similar procedure to vertebroplasty is kyphoplasty. The only difference between the two is that in kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted into the fractured bone through the hollow needle to create a cavity or space. The cement is injected into the cavity once the balloon is removed.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is caused by the narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put a lot of pressure on the nerves that travel through the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis commonly occurs in the lower back and the neck. Most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. This could include a bone over-growth, herniated disc, thickened ligaments, tumors, or spinal injuries. The age group most at risk of developing spinal stenosis are 50 years and older. Our joints and spinal space begin to break down as we age. Some people with spinal stenosis may not have any noticeable symptoms, while others can experience chronic pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Symptoms can worsen over time and as you age. Spinal stenosis is generally caused by changes in the spine due to osteoarthritis. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves. Stem cell therapy is an alternative to invasive surgeries.
How Can a Vertebroplasty Surgery Treat My Spinal Stenosis?
Patients with spinal stenosis usually have another underlying condition that causes their spine to narrow and weaken. Vertebroplasty is able to add back the stability to your weakened and fractured vertebrae. The cement injection acts as a glue to hold the fractured bone together so it can heal. This stability and spacing between the vertebrae remove the pressure put on spinal nerves, relieving chronic back pain.