As we get older our bones become weaker, more brittle, and can easily break even without a fall. These so called insufficiency compression fractures are very common and can cause severe back pain and an increasing tendency to stoop.
Both procedures (cement augmentation) involve injecting cement into the broken vertebra and are recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA279
Mr Aylott has extensive experience in this technique, including training surgeons on courses and presenting cases and evidence to more than 200 surgeons at an International meeting in Lisbon.
This treatment is possible for anyone with a painful unhealed fracture. Performed either from a few weeks to months later if a spinal fracture has not healed and remains painful.
Cement augmentation is a well tolerated procedure and I regularly perform this from middle aged adults to octogenarians to quickly improve pain, mobility, and overall quality of life.
I can perform this treatment under local anaesthetic with sedation, avoiding the need for a general anaesthetic. Consequently you can go home within a few hours.
I use live imaging to guide small needles from behind into the broken vertebra.
In Kyphoplasty balloons are inflated within the collapsed vertebra to help restore the height of the bone. Cement is then injected into the cavity reinforcing the broken bone. In Vertebroplasty cement is injected without using balloons.
I generally prefer Kyphoplasty to Vertebroplasty because the balloons help me to restore the vertebra and reduce the deformity which benefits you in standing taller and straighter afterwards.
In my experience this is a simple, low risk and very effective treatment.
Most patients notice that their fracture pain is almost immediately better and they can walk, stand and bend more comfortably.
The chance of you having a complication is very low and this procedure is really well tolerated even in the elderly and frail.
In our centre we have the experience of performing this under local anaesthetic which reduces any general anaesthetic risks.
In my experience there is less than a 1% chance of a complication which includes a nerve injury, spinal fluid leak, infection, ongoing or worse symptoms, bleeding, blood clot or other medical complication. We often see a small amount of cement squeezing out of the vertebra during the procedure but this very rarely causes a problem.
It is worth remembering that I can only fix the broken vertebra so the procedure does not stop you developing a similar fracture elsewhere.
You will be up and about immediately after the procedure and home within a few hours.
You will have a few small dressings on your back but no stitches are required.
Most patients tell me that their back immediately feels stronger and more comfortable and they can stand taller and straighter.
Usually any painkillers you were taking before your operation can be reduced or stopped.
The following day you can return to walking and exercise which you can build up progressively.
I will probably recommend a bone density scan from your GP if this has not already been done to determine the strength of your bones and consider further medical treatment to reduce the chance of further fractures.
I will see you back in the clinic at 6 weeks and as required.
I am here to support you before and after your operation and you can talk to me or the team at any time.
I recommend you read the comments from my patients of their experience of kyphoplasty under my care.
I also invite you to read my published article on Balloon Kyphoplasty which includes a case study, which you will find under the articles section on this website.