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New Treatment for Cancer Spine Fractures – Balloon Kyphoplasty

When cancer spreads to new locations in the body, it is technically called metastasis. A complication of this condition is spine fracture. Side effects of Cancer treatment techniques make the spine brittle raising the chances of its fracture further.

Balloon kyphoplasty is a new surgical technique developed by German researchers which can provide quick and effective relief from the pain caused by the fracture of spine.

The results of their findings are presented at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan in October 2010. This article tries to gain further insight on the topic.

What is Balloon Kyphoplasty Technique for Cancer Metastasis Spine Fractures?

  • According to the researchers, the surgical procedure involves less trauma to the patient while the operation is carried out.
  • In this process, a small balloon is inserted into the fractured section of the spine through a 1 cm hole.
  • The balloon swells and takes the shape of the fractured section or vertebrae.
  • Then it is quickly removed to be replaced with an exact amount of bone cement which sets in the location of injection quickly.
  • In this way, the shape and strength of the vertebrae is restored.
  • The study had 134 patients as participants with 70 patients who underwent this surgery and 64 patients were given non-surgical management for comparison of the results.
  • A questionnaire was given to both the groups in order to assess their back pain one month after the treatment.
  • Those who had this surgery, reported improvement in their back pain and level of disability along with better quality of life.

Significance of Balloon Kyphoplasty Technique for Cancer Patients: This technique is the best available treatment option if medicines meant to relieve fracture pain in cancer patients prove ineffective or have high side effects. It can play a major role in cancer care by curbing the complications of the ailment and the side-effects of its existing therapies.

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