March 28, 2020 - Saturday


EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR PAINFUL VERTEBRAL COMPRESSION FRACTURESDiseases such as osteoporosis or bone tumors can weaken vertebrae, the bones of the spine, which can then collapse suddenly under the force of normal daily activity. Compression fractures can cause unbearable pain and lead to significant reductions in quality of life. Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are minimally invasive, image-guided treatments for the pain associated with compression fractures.
During consultation, a patient’s history and other factors will be considered, along with the results of diagnostic tests, such as MRI, CT, and Bone Scans. Patients who are candidates for Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty will be advised of the process, benefits, and potential risks of
the procedure.

During Vertebroplasty, the collapsed vertebra is stabilized using specially formulated acrylic bone cement that helps provide pain relief and prevents further collapse of the vertebra. The procedure is performed in the Pain Management Fluoroscopy Suite or in the operating room. The delivery of bone cement into the fractured vertebra requires constant image guidance, called fluoroscopy,
a type of X-ray machine. See Figure 1.

During Kyphoplasty, the same process is followed as with Vertebroplasty, however, prior to inserting the bone cement, a high pressure balloon is inserted into the vertebra. This makes the space larger and controls the area where the cement is injected. See Figure 2.

Moderate sedation, administered through an intravenous (IV) line, is typically used to help the patient relax during the procedure. A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, is used to numb the area prior to and during the procedure.

An antibiotic may be given as well.

During the procedure, the patient lies face down on the table. Fluoroscopy (X-ray) is used to insert one or two needles into each fractured vertebra, after a small incision is made. Acrylic bone cement is then injected into each compressed vertebrae. This is done under constant X-ray guidance, in order to closely observe the flow of cement. Once the appropriated amount of cement has been delivered into the vertebral body, the physician removes the needles and covers the small incision with a small bandage.

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty take about an hour for the treatment of a single fractured vertebra; multiple fractures treated during the same procedure take longer. Patients relax in the recovery/observation area for a couple of hours following the procedure while the sedation wears off.
Following Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty, many patients find a marked improvement in pain control and in quality of life. Often, patients are able to reduce their pain medications and return to normal daily activities that had been inhibited by the painful vertebral compression fractures.

Pain Management doctors are specialists in treating painful conditions. At KC Pain, our physicians focus on diagnosing and managing pain, studying causes, physical reactions, and how different medications relieve many painful conditions.

We take a team approach to your treatment – with YOU as the lead member of the team. We work closely with physicians or health care professionals you may already be seeing to treat your pain
and/or underlying conditions that may be causing your pain. This may include your primary care physician, neurologist, oncologist, or physiatrist.

Our doctors may also refer you to other, non-physician specialists for additional care, such as physical, psychological or occupational therapy, and home health care. We will share information frequently to ensure that all are working together to provide you with the best possible relief of your pain.

As the Midwest’s largest, most comprehensive, full-time pain management group, KC Pain offers nine state-of-the-art treatment centers throughout Greater Kansas City, including in Overland Park, Kansas City, MO, Lee’s Summit, Independence, Belton and the Northland.

Call us at 816-763-1559 to learn more or to schedule an appointment, or visit us online at

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