Inflatable Vertebral Augmentation System - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Inflatable Vertebral Augmentation System

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Inflatable Vertebral Augmentation System (iVAS™) is a minimally invasive procedure used in treating vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). 

VCFs are especially prevalent among older Americans.  While the majority of back pain complaints are related to degenerative changes associated with age and arthritis, 700,000 men and women suffer each year from back pain caused by a VCF, frequently due to osteoporosis.  They are the most common type of osteoporotic fragility fracture, often resulting in prolonged and debilitating pain.

These patients have been traditionally treated with bed rest, pain medication, muscle relaxants, external back braces and physical therapy.  For patients still experiencing back pain, an alternative treatment to be considered is iVAS™. 

During iVAS™, a balloon catheter is inserted into the vertebral body through a small incision in the back.  The balloon is gently inflated creating a cavity which is then filled with bone cement.  As the cement hardens, an internal cast is formed which provides structural stabilization and often results in pain relief.

Certain factors and habits can lead to a loss of bone mass, which can result in osteoporosis and the possibility of VCF. 

  • Gender: 80 percent of those at risk for osteoporosis are women.
  • Age: As you age, chances of developing osteoporosis increase as you continue to lose bone mass.
  • Dietary Factors: People who lack calcium and vitamin D in their diets are at greater risk.
  • Cigarettes and Coffee: Smoking and a high level of coffee intake may also lead to a decline in bone density.

The benefits patients can expect to receive from iVAS™ is significant pain relief, increased range of motion and improved quality of life. This typically allows patients to increase their physical activity: decreasing risk of blood clots, pulmonary compromise, decubitis ulcers and other complications associated with immobility.  And, as a relatively painless outpatient procedure, iVAS™ requires no general anesthesia.

At Covenant Health System, vertebral augmentation is currently performed by highly qualified physicians with a keen interest in spine pathology.  For more information, please call 806.725.2031.

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