Medtronic Logo Vertebral compression fractures appear to be a common condition with over 900,000 spinal fractures taking place in the U.S. per year. There are many health problems associated with it and it may increase chances of death too. More recently, Medtronic proclaimed the commercial release of the Kyphon Xpander II Inflatable Bone Tamp (IBT) and the Kyphon Inflation Syringe-the Kyphon Xpander II IBT System for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures that utilize least invasive Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty.

The system uses a new balloon material that can be suitably controlled and provides a larger lifting pressure. It is put to use in combination with Kyphon Inflation Syringe. The latter enables convenient usage in balloon kyphoplasty procedure. The Kyphon Xpander II IBT has been undergoing physician preference trials since November 2010 in above 180 cases across America.

“Xpander II is a significant advancement to our existing kyphoplasty portfolio this year. Combined with the recent launches of the quick-to-dough Kyphon Xpede Bone Cement and Kyphon Express Curette, we are delivering our most innovative, best-in-class technology to treat patients suffering from vertebral compression fractures,” shared Doug King, Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic Spinal.

The balloon kyphoplasty procedure strives to be the least invasive. The procedure begins with a needle and tube being used to create a small route into the fractured bone, usually on both sides of the vertebral body. Orthopedic balloons are then introduced and inflated within the fractured bone in an effort to resurrect it. The inflation process induces cavities in the vertebral body that are loaded with bone cement, that forms an internal cast to act as a support for the ambient bone and to make the fracture firm in place.

This process differs from other surgical medications for VCFs such as vertebroplasty. The inflation of the balloons in the procedure narrows the cancellated bone that tends to load fracture lines. Because of the space available, even more of the semi-solid cement can be injected under less manual force.

The difficulties involved with this method seem to be relatively low. There are certain risks involved such as cement leakage, and some other complications which may even be fatal. This technique is not universal and necessitates a doctor’s prescription. Patients should consult their doctors for the list of indications, risks and benefits as it is they who have to decide whether they want to opt for this treatment or no.

Vertebral compression fractions are the most common osteoporotic fractures in the U.S.