Medtronic recently launched the KYPHON Express System in Europe. This is a set of devices for the KYPHON balloon kyphoplasty procedure to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs).
These tools, which are smaller than what is currently available for balloon kyphoplasty, expand the availability of this minimally invasive surgery to more of the approximately 490,000 patients across Europe who are annually diagnosed with VCFs from osteoporosis, as well as those with fractures caused by cancer or trauma.
Patients whose VCFs are treated with balloon kyphoplasty experience significant improvement in quality of life, back function and back pain compared to patients receiving non-surgical management (including pain medication, bed rest, physiotherapy and back bracing) alone, according to a recently published study in The Lancet.
The Express System measures only 3.3mm in diameter, more than 20% smaller than devices currently available in Europe for the balloon kyphoplasty procedure. The smaller size may offer advantages in the treatment of smaller patients, such as petite women, and allows treatment of fractures in the upper thoracic area of the spine. Some 10-15 percent of VCFs are upper thoracic fractures2, which, until now, had some treatment limitations due to size availability of the balloon kyphoplasty devices.
Commenting on the KYPHON Express System, Hendrik Fransen, from the Radiology Department of the AZ Sint Lucas hospital in Gent, Belgium said, “The balloon kyphoplasty procedure is a minimally invasive way of treating vertebral compression fractures in patients who otherwise could be restricted to coping with pain medication, bed rest and back bracing. The KYPHON Express System will help us to make balloon kyphoplasty available to more patients. The KYPHON Express System was developed by Medtronic in direct response to physician requests for smaller-sized devices. This is good news, as we will now be able to perform this procedure more widely, which may improve the lives of more patients.”
Hervé Deramond from the Neuroradiology Department of the Amiens University Hospital, Amiens, France, added, “The KYPHON Express System is easy to use and complements our therapeutic arsenal to treat VCFs well. It is particularly helpful in restoring height in case of fresh fractures.”