Compression fractures can occur very minimal or even no trauma in osteoporotic people. A compression fracture is a brake in the vertebrae. The bone may be collapsed due to the fracture. This may result in severe back pain.
A vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that takes only 15 minutes. Two small needles are placed into the broken bone under x-ray through 3 mm incisions (the size of a pencil eraser head). Cement is placed into the broken bone to help stabilize the bone so it doesn’t collapse further and to decrease pain. Typically pain reduction is felt immediately after the procedure. When this procedure is performed you will no longer require a brace because the bone is immediately stabilized by the cement.
A kyphoplasty is a similar minimally invasive procedure done through the same tiny 3 mm skin incisions. A kyphoplasty involves inflating a small balloon in the vertebrae to recreate the lost height of the bone and to create a void in the bone for the cement to sit in. After the balloon is inflated it is then deflated and removed. Next, the cement is placed through the small needles.
This is an outpatient procedure and is sutureless.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.