WHAT is Kyphoplasty?Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for people suffering with compression fractures of the spine. The procedure involves the insertion of a balloon into the collapsed vertebra, followed by injection of a special material. The material hardens and stabilizes the vertebra, preventing further damage. This treatment typically reduces or eliminates the pain caused by the fracture or the bone rubbing against bone. Patients can resume their activities almost immediately. The only option available before Kyphoplasty was weeks of bed rest and pain medications, possibly leading to other health complications.
WHY would someone need Kyphoplasty?The most common reason for Kyphoplasty is to stabilize a compression fracture of one or more vertebrae. Compression fractures can occur from an accident or trauma, but the most common cause is from osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that ten million Americans have osteoporosis, and the disease causes 700,000 vertebral fractures annually. Regardless of the cause, a compression fracture of the spine may result in severe pain, a tremendous reduction in the quality of life, and risk of additional compression fractures if untreated.
Through small incisions and using special x-rays, the doctor inserts a narrow tube into the damaged vertebra. Through this tube, a balloon is inserted into the center of the vertebral body.
The balloon is then inflated, restoring the bone back towards its original height and shape.
Balloon Removed, Material Injected
The balloon is then removed and the special material is injected into the remaining cavity.
Once it hardens, it should stabilize the fractured vertebra near its normal height and relieve the pain.
Restoring the height of the vertebra is more successful if Kyphoplasty is performed within six to eight weeks after the fracture. Kyphoplasty is performed with local anesthetic and oral sedation. The procedure generally takes 30-60 minutes for each fracture treated.