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Minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Instructional course lectures 02/2007; 56(8):273-85.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures are a leading cause of disability and morbidity in the elderly. The consequences of these fractures include pain, progressive vertebral collapse with resultant spinal kyphosis, and systemic manifestations. Nonsurgical measures have proved unsuccessful in a portion of this population and for this group, minimally invasive vertebral augmentation can be beneficial. Vertebroplasty is designed to address vertebral fracture pain. It involves percutaneous injection of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) directly into a fractured vertebral body with the goals of pain relief and prevention of further collapse of the fractured vertebra. Kyphoplasty is designed to address the kyphotic deformity as well as the fracture pain. It involves the percutaneous insertion of an inflatable bone tamp into a fractured vertebral body. Bone tamp inflation works to elevate the end plates and create a cavity to be filled with PMMA with the goals of pain relief, restoration of vertebral body height, and reduced kyphotic deformity. Optimizing surgical technique can improve outcomes and decrease complication rates, and decrease radiation exposure to the patient and surgical team. Obtaining a biopsy prior to cement injection has proved efficacious and may result in the diagnosis of occult pathology underlying a seemingly routine vertebral fracture. As competence and surgical success are acquired, the indications will continue to expand to encompass more challenging pathologies. Recently, vertebral augmentation during spinal decompression and instrumented fusion for burst fracture with neurologic insult has been reported to be successful.

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