Loretta McMenamin injured her back lifting a vacuum. The pain was intense, and the treatments she was receiving did not bring relief. When an MRI revealed T10 and T12 vertebral fractures as well as degenerative disease, Ms. McMenamin’s doctor referred her to Virginia Interventional and Vascular Associates (VIVA).
Consultation and Evaluation
At VIVA, Ms. McMenamin explained the fractures and degenerative disease were causing debilitating pain that interfered with her daily life. Dr. John J. McLaughlin, a Board Certified, fellowship-trained interventional radiologist, recommended kyphoplasty to repair the fractures.
“Ms. McMenamin was an excellent candidate for the kyphoplasty procedure, and we scheduled
her treatment right away,” Dr. McLaughlin said.
Kyphoplasty Spinal Procedure
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that reduces pain by stabilizing fractures. In kyphoplasty, a surgeon inserts a balloon into the fractured vertebra to create a cavity in the bone.
The surgeon injects cement into the cavity to repair the damaged vertebra. Kyphoplasty is covered by most health insurance providers.
The procedure prevents further collapse of damaged vertebrae, while providing long-term relief. Most patients report improvement within 48 hours.
Ms. McMenamin experienced immediate relief following her kyphoplasty at VIVA, which she says has given her increased mobility and quality of life.
“I know that I would be in a wheelchair by now if this procedure didn’t exist,” McMenamin said. “I was able to live my life again, pain-free.”
Outcomes such as Ms. McMenamin’s are common, according to Dr. McLaughlin.
“About 90 percent of patients report a significant reduction in pain following the kyphoplasty procedure. Of the 90 percent, about 60 percent feel immediate pain relief, and about 40 percent feel pain relief only one week after the procedure,” Dr. McLaughlin said.
The Importance of Kyphoplasty
When left untreated, spinal fractures can decrease mobility, which leads to a loss of muscle and overall independence. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine found that kyphoplasty provided faster pain relief, quicker restoration of mobility and better repair of fractures and correction of spinal curvature than conservative treatment.
“The goal is to get patients out of bed and moving as quickly as possible to avoid the risks of prolonged bed rest and decreased activity,” Dr. McLaughlin said.
Kyphoplasty is an important tool in achieving this goal. Virginia Interventional and Vascular Associates (VIVA) is an outpatient multispecialty practice fully owned and operated by Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg. VIVA’s Board Certified, fellowship-trained interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures to promote rapid recovery and results.