The goals of a kyphoplasty surgical procedure are designed to stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture, to stabilize the bone, and to restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture.
- Kyphoplasty is a type of Vertebral Augmentation for Compression Fractures
- During kyphoplasty surgery, a small incision is made in the back through which the doctor places a narrow tube. Using fluoroscopy to guide it to the correct position, the tube creates a path through the back into the fractured area through the pedicle of the involved vertebrae.
- Using X-ray images, the doctor inserts a special balloon through the tube and into the vertebrae, then gently and carefully inflates it. As the balloon inflates, it elevates the fracture, returning the pieces to a more normal position. It also compacts the soft inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.
- The balloon is removed and the doctor uses specially designed instruments under low pressure to fill the cavity with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). After being injected, the pasty material hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.
Kyphoplasty surgery to treat a fracture from osteoporosis is performed at a hospital under local or general anesthesia. Other logistics for a typical kyphoplasty procedure are:
- The kyphoplasty procedure takes about one hour for each vertebra involved
- Patients will be observed closely in the recovery room immediately following the kyphoplasty procedure
- Patients may spend one day in the hospital after the kyphoplasty procedure
Patients should not drive until they are given approval by their doctor. If they are released the day of the kyphoplasty surgery, they will need to arrange for transportation home from the hospital.
Recovery from Kyphoplasty
Pain relief will be immediate for some patients. In others, elimination or reduction of pain is reported within two days. At home, patients can return to their normal daily activities, although strenuous exertion, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least six weeks.
Patients should see their physician to begin or review their treatment plan for osteoporosis, including medications to prevent further bone loss.