Launched in 2007, The Bone Health Centre at the Princess Grace Hospital, London, UK, in association with Kyphon Industries has now introduced the state-of-the-art spine correcting surgery, balloon kyphoplasty, into its range of procedures available to patients.
Involving only minimal invasion, this surgical procedure treats patients with vertebral compression fractures and the spinal deformities they can cause.
A small balloon is first inserted into the vertebrae and inflated to create a space, before a hardening agent is injected into the gap and the balloon removed. This quickly restores the shape and height of the vertebrae, repairing the broken bone of spinal fractures and can significantly reduce debilitating back pain.
“For some balloon kyphoplasty patients, little or no postoperative rehabilitation is required. This means patients achieve a rapid restoration of day-to-day quality of life, and experience a significant alleviation of pain very quickly” comments Elliott Ewhare, senior product specialist from Kyphon Industries.
Vertebra compression fractures are often caused by osteoporosis and the loss of bone quality and mass as a result, that makes bone fractures more likely. Older women are at increased risk of osteoporosis from lower oestrogen levels following menopause. Men also suffer from this disease as low calcium intake, smoking and excessive alcohol put both men and women at risk.
Indications of a vertebral compression fracture include: significant loss of height; back pain that becomes more intense when sitting, standing or walking; spine curving forward; and/or sudden onset of back pain.
Patients suffering from metastatic cancer, and experiencing severe pain and disability, increasingly suffer from new vertebral fractures each year. Balloon kyphoplasty is particularly beneficial when there is significant bone destruction and fractures of the vertebral body.
At the PGH there is a full range of modern diagnostic imaging equipment, to help identify the exact nature of an individual’s bone health condition, be that spinal curvature, fractures or reduced bone density. Bone densitometry scans such as the Hologic System are used to detect bone disorders and conditions or measure the likelihood a patient will develop osteoporosis.
The Bone Health Centre adopts a truly integrated and multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of bone disorders. Enabling patients to be cared for by expert consultants with extensive specialist experience, patients have access to the full range of specialist medical resources available at The Princess Grace Hospital as part of the centre’s comprehensive approach to care. These include rheumatology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, diagnostics and pain management.
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