Kyphoplasty is an augmentation or strengthening of vertebrae that have suffered compression fractures. This minimally invasive procedure alleviates pain, stabilizes the bone, and restores some or all vertebral height that was impacted by the fracture.
A catheter with a balloon-like device creates space in the vertebra, and a special cement-like substance is injected to fill it. Hence it is also known as a “balloon kyphoplasty.”
Kyphoplasty can help patients with spinal fractures due to osteoporosis, cancer, or trauma. The procedure should be completed within eight weeks of the fracture for the best outcomes.
The Kyphoplasty Procedure
Kyphoplasty is performed at a hospital, surgery center, or other outpatient facilities while the patient is under local or general anesthesia.
During the procedure, a narrow tube is guided by fluoroscopy imaging via a small incision in the back, to the fractured area. The balloon is passed through the tube and into the vertebra where it is gently inflated, creating a cavity inside the soft inner bone tissue of the vertebra, which also raises the height of the damaged bone into as normal a position as possible.
The balloon is then deflated, extracted, and specially designed instruments fill the cavity with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) under low pressure. This hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.
The kyphoplasty procedure takes about one hour for each vertebra involved.
A slight soreness at the site of the incision should last no more than a few days. Patients should notice a significant decrease in pain due to the fracture after the kyphoplasty.
Your doctor will advise you about the resumption of normal activities. Heavy lifting is to be avoided for about six weeks.
Vitamins, minerals and medications to help strengthen bones and prevent additional spinal fractures may be prescribed. Guidance on wound care and preventing infections will be given.
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we believe that an informed patient is the best patient. We practice comprehensive, patient-centered care designed to help you achieve the best possible outcomes. If you’ve experienced a head injury or have neck, back, or leg pain, call us today at (303) 790-1800 or use our online form to request an appointment.