Kyphoplasty is a specialized medical procedure that offers relief to individuals with vertebral fractures who are experiencing:
- mobility difficulties
- postural changes
- a decreased life quality
A vertebral fracture occurs when the small bones forming the spine, known as vertebrae, become cracked or broken. This often happens when bones weaken from osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis can cause vertebrae to collapse, resulting in painful compression fractures and a hunched posture. Other causes of vertebral fractures include:
- spinal deformities
- kyphosis (an excessive outward curve of the spine)
- pathologic fractures due to cancer or bone metastasis
Kyphoplasty aims to stabilize the damaged bone, alleviate pain, and restore some height to the compressed vertebra in certain instances. The goal is to improve posture and comfort for the individual.
Before the Procedure
Before your kyphoplasty, your neurosurgeon will discuss your medical history and physical health with you. This vital step involves reviewing your medications and allergies and addressing your concerns.
The goal is to minimize risks, ensuring a safe and effective procedure.
The Kyphoplasty Procedure
Your neurosurgeon will ensure you’re comfortable and pain-free by using general anesthesia to keep you asleep or by numbing the area with local anesthesia.
Utilizing real-time imaging, the neurosurgeon expertly guides a needle to the fractured vertebra.
A tiny medical balloon is introduced via the needle and gently inflated to create space and potentially correct the height of the damaged bone.
A stable medical cement is injected into the created space. When it solidifies, it provides stability and strength to the vertebra.
The needle is then removed, the tiny incision is closed, and the procedure is complete.
Post-procedure recovery from kyphoplasty tends to be relatively quick and manageable.
Your doctor will provide a brief monitoring period to ensure you are stable. You will be encouraged to move, even take a few steps, relatively soon after the procedure.
Recovery trajectories can vary. While some may experience immediate relief, others may gradually improve over several weeks. A marked reduction in pain is often noticed immediately or within a few days post-procedure.
A gentle and progressive return to regular activities is usually possible within a few weeks. Your medical team will provide a tailored recovery plan, ensuring a safe and effective return to your daily routines.
While kyphoplasty is widely recognized for its safety and how well it works, it’s crucial to acknowledge that there are risks, as with all medical procedures. Some complications might include:
- increased back pain
- nerve damage
- allergic reactions to materials used during surgery
- cement leakage into unwanted areas
- pulmonary embolism (rare)
Dealing with a vertebral fracture can be challenging and painful. Kyphoplasty could be a viable solution to alleviate your pain and improve mobility. Many individuals experience noticeable pain relief and enhanced function after the procedure.
Consider speaking to one of our specialists to explore kyphoplasty as an option – your next step towards relief and improved mobility might begin with a simple consultation.
What makes me a candidate for kyphoplasty?
Candidates for kyphoplasty typically have painful vertebral fractures, often resulting from osteoporosis, trauma, or cancer. An assessment involving medical history, physical examination, and imaging studies will determine if kyphoplasty is a viable option for relief.
How effective is kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty often provides significant pain relief and helps restore vertebral body height. Most people experience a reduction in pain and a notable improvement in mobility.
How long does it take to recover from kyphoplasty?
Recovery times can vary. Some people might experience immediate pain relief and return to normal activities within a few days, while others might require several weeks.
Will kyphoplasty prevent future fractures?
Kyphoplasty stabilizes the fractured vertebra, but it does not prevent future fractures. Ongoing management, such as medication for osteoporosis, may help reduce the risk of further fractures.