Kyphoplasty: New technology in Spine treatment

A 37-years-old Patient Robert VR, living in Khanh Hoa, came to see Doctor Nguyen Manh Hung – Head of FV Hospital Neurosurgery Department with symptoms of persistent back pain, angina and leg weakness affecting work efficiency and quality of life. A year ago, the patient suffered an injury from a fall and had been receiving medical treatment for a year, but the situation was not improving and was worsening.

After a thorough examination, Dr Nguyen Manh Hung ordered an MRI of the back and spine. The imaging results showed that the patient had a fracture of the D11, D12 and L4 vertebra. However, these injuries had not been diagnosed and treated, leading to more severe vertebrae damage, due to the damaged discs being compressed during walking and movement. To put an end to this long-lasting pain, Dr Manh Hung advised and persuaded the patient to have a surgery as soon as possible. Because of time and work commitments, this could not be arranged and the patient requested medication to alleviate his symptoms to return for surgery in three months.

In January 2021, the patient returned to FV and had general anaesthesia to perform the surgery. The doctor performed the Kyphoplasty technique using bio-cement injection to regenerate the spine, and to harden the D11, D12 vertebrae. This is a modern technique that helps treat spinal compression by using a very small catheter through the skin and reconstructing the collapsed vertebral body with a balloon that lifts the vertebral body back to its original location. The balloon is inserted through the needle lumen into the damaged vertebral body, then the balloon is inflated to bring the vertebral body back to required height. The doctor will deflate the balloon slowly and bring it out. The space in the vertebral body created by the balloon is then filled with bio-cement. Then, the doctor combined minimally invasive surgery to decompress the pinched nerve root, removed the damaged disc, and replaced it with an artificial disc with bone graft made of titanium to reconnect the vertebrae, then fitted a screw brace system to completely relieve pain and restore normal walking posture. The extensive surgery went smoothly and ended after five and a half hours and the patient was discharged seven days later. After a month of follow-up, the patient reports he has returned to normal activities and work; he no longer suffered from insomnia and was extremely satisfied with the treatment results.

According to Doctor Nguyen Manh Hung, in the past, when a patient suffered a vertebral depression, conservative treatment was usually prescribed medication, asking patients to rest for about 6-12 weeks, using a back brace and waiting for the vertebrae to heal. This caused them to endure prolonged pain and extended bed rest, leading to complications such as ulcers, pneumonia or urinary tract infections. Currently, medical science is rapidly growing, resulting in many advanced treatment techniques for vertebral settlement fractures such as the Kyphoplasty technique with the advantage of being less invasive, high efficient, and eventually to improve the quality of life for patients with vertebral compression fractures due to osteoporosis, or injury.

Doctor Nguyen Manh Hung graduated from the University of Medicine in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005 and completed a Specialisation Degree, Level I, in Neurology, at the same institution in 2012. He has more than 10 years of clinical specialisation in treating head trauma, intracerebral hemorrhaging, stroke and brain tumours, and operating on the spine and peripheral nervous system.

Before working at FV Hospital, Doctor Nguyen Manh Hung was a resident doctor (2005 – 2006) and then a senior consultant (2006 – 2017) at Gia Dinh Hospital. In 2017, Dr. Hung joined FV’s Neurosurgery Department and from 2019, Dr Hung has been appointed Head of the department.