Term of the Day- Kyphoplasty
The Kyphoplasty procedure avoids surgery (a good thing). Another prevalent injury seen in the workers comp field is spine fractures. Our most recent case of this resulted from a fall out of a semi-truck, but we have seen a wide array of painful vertebral fractures.
One new popular treatment is Kyphoplasty. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can alleviate up to 90% of pain caused by compression fractures. Kyphoplasty also stabilizes the fracture, restores height, and reduces the deformity.
The procedure is minimally invasive, using only two small incisions and a probe placed into the vertebral space. The bone is drilled and a balloon, called a bone tamp, is inserted on each side. The balloons are then inflated and removed, leaving a cavity for orthopedic cement to be placed. The cement restores height and stability to the vertebra, and reduces pain.
Kyphoplasty is very similar to Vertebroplasty, used for more simple injuries, where physicians use image guidance to inject cement instead of balloons. Both are new promising technologies that increase a patient’s functional abilities, allowing them to return to their previous level of activity without any form of physical therapy or rehabilitation, a benefit to the patient and their employer.
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