What is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a spinal procedure in which bone cement is injected through a small hole in the skin into a fractured vertebrae to try to relieve back pain caused by a vertebral compression fractures. A compression fracture or a break in one of your vertebra can result in bone fragments rubbing against each other, which can be painful.
Surgery can help treat such fractures. For example, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures that are often performed together. Usually, they can be done without a hospital stay.
Before the Procedure
What happens before a kyphoplasty procedure? Your doctor will examine you and likely order some blood tests before the day of your surgery. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI scan will also likely be done to help your surgeon see the area or areas that need repair.
In preparation for surgery, an intravenous line (IV) will be placed in a vein in your arm to deliver anesthesia. You may also receive pain and anti-nausea medications, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. You’ll probably also be connected to heart, pulse, and blood pressure monitors.
During the Procedure
What happens during the kyphoplasty procedure?
An anesthesiologist will deliver medicine through an IV to either relax you and relieve your pain or put you to sleep. With X-ray guidance, your doctor will insert a needle through your skin and back muscles into the bone, then inflate a balloon to help the vertebra regain its normal shape. Once the balloon is inflated, your doctor will then inject the cement while checking X-rays to ensure it’s precise location. Your doctor will remove the needle, with no stitches needed.
The entire procedure takes 1 to 2 hours for each treated vertebra.
After the procedure
Once the kyphoplasty procedure has been completed, you’ll be placed in a recovery room. It is possible for you to go home the same day, but depending on what your doctor advises, they may want you to stay overnight.
It’s possible that you can start walking an hour after the procedure. You may feel some soreness where the needle entered your back, but this lasts no more than a few days. You may quickly notice that you have less pain than you did before the surgery.
Talk with your doctor about whether you should avoid any activities after the procedure. Your doctor may suggest taking certain vitamins, minerals and medications to help strengthen your bones and prevent additional spinal fractures.
Below is an educational video explaining more about kyphoplasty.