Percutaneous Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
Many fractures of the spine in the elderly are due to osteoporosis, with a minority due to tumours. Vertebroplasty – the injection of cement into the vertebral body under sedation is a “low risk high return” procedure as the cement stabilizes the fractured segment of the spine (Figure 1). Typically, the patient can walk and return home the next day after vertebroplasty.
An MRI will be done before the procedure to look for fresh or new fractures which will benefit most from this procedure. You will lie face down for this procedure. Sedation will be administered, but no general anesthesia is given. Under real time x ray images, we will accurately place two needles into each fractured vertebra (spine bone). A dye will be injected to ensure that there is no leakage of the dye outside the vertebra, and subsequently cement will be slowly injected under the watchful eyes of the x rays.
A modification of this vertebroplasty procedure is kyphoplasty where two balloons will be used to inflate the fractured vertebra before the cement is introduced. You will lie in bed on that day, but will be able to start to move around the following day. You can also be discharged the following day.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Stabilization
If you are younger, bone cement injection may not be enough to maintain the stability of the fractured spine. We have the capability to perform minimally invasive spinal stabilization to help you recover faster (Figure 2).
This procedure is done with you lying face down after general anesthesia has been given. Under x ray guidance, we will insert titanium screws and rods using small incisions into the spine.
Our specialist Adjunct A/Professor Hee Hwan Tak is a renowned spine surgeon with much experience performing such procedures. Contact us for a comprehensive consultation at Singapore Pinnacle Orthopaedic Group. Visit Dr Hee Hwan Tak’s Google+ page here.
Here’s an interview that Dr Hee Hwan Tak did with Channel 8 about Kyphoplasty in Singapore.