What is Kyphoplasty and How Does it Work?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to correct spinal compression fractures. It can relieve pain and improve mobility when conservative treatments like pain medicine, activity modification, or bracing do not work.

During the kyphoplasty, a thin surgical instrument, like a needle with a balloon inside, is inserted into the bone. A cement-like mixture is then injected into the space created by the balloon and the hand.

What is a Compression Fracture?

A compression fracture is a spinal injury when the front of one or more vertebrae becomes weakened, allowing it to collapse. This weakening makes it less capable of handling axial loads placed on the spine, which can cause back pain and abnormal hunching forward (kyphosis).

Treatment for this condition typically involves nonsurgical measures such as pain medication, activity modification, or bracing. However, minimally invasive surgery may be considered when these nonsurgical measures fail to relieve pain and improve function.

Kyphoplasty is a new, minimally invasive procedure developed in the early 2000s that combines a balloon “inflating” technique with the cementing of the bone. This unique reshaping ability helps to re-align the bones, which can help reduce pain and improve posture.

How Does Kyphoplasty Work?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat spinal compression fractures. Usually performed by an interventional radiologist, the system provides relief of pain from these injuries and may help restore vertebral height.

During this treatment, a physician of kyphoplasty Jacksonville Fl uses an X-ray machine called fluoroscopy allows the doctor to see inside your spine to find the fractured vertebrae. Then a balloon is inserted into the affected bone.

Next, the surgeon injects a quick-drying cement-like mixture into the cavity. This sets and prevents the bone from collapsing again.

Sometimes, a part of the cement can leak from the fractured bone, causing new symptoms. This leakage can cause heart, lung, kidney, or brain problems.

If you have a compression fracture, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of kyphoplasty. Most patients recover well and become symptom-free after the procedure.

What Are the Risks of Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that may help relieve pain and improve your quality of life. However, like any surgery, kyphoplasty has some risks.

The most common risk is bleeding and damage to the blood vessels or nerves. This could cause pain, numbness, weakness, and sometimes, bowel or bladder incontinence.

Another concern is extra vertebral leakage of cement that may cause spinal canal stenosis or pulmonary embolism (blood, fat, or glue that passes into your lungs). This is less common in kyphoplasty than in vertebroplasty but can be very serious if it happens.

Other potential complications include infection, bleeding, increased back pain, numbness, or tingling. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days of the procedure.

What Can I Expect from Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps people with a severe vertebral compression fractures. The process involves inserting a medical balloon into the space inside a vertebra to restore height and length. Then, specialized cement is injected into the room.

The process takes about one hour (per vertebrae) and requires X-ray guidance. You may feel some minor pain and swelling at the injection site, which can be relieved using ice packs for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

Your doctor will give you anesthesia before the procedure and connect you to monitors for blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse. You might also need to stop taking some medications, including aspirin or blood thinners.

After kyphoplasty, avoid heavy lifting and straining activities until your surgeon tells you to resume them. Your doctor will also refer you to a physical therapist to learn exercises to help you return to regular activity.

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