What Is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures in the spine, particularly those caused by osteoporosis or trauma. It involves the use of special balloons and bone cement to restore vertebral height, stabilize the fractured bone, and relieve pain.
Physicians and Spinal Specialists perform a Kyphoplasty procedure to repair spinal fractures. When a spinal vertebrae fractures to the point of instability, Physicians can inject a small balloon into the fractured area of the spine and inflate the bone back into proper shape. Once the surgeon has reshaped the bone, they inject a medical-grade cement into the space that hardens into a permanent structure, stabilizing the spine once more. Patients usually recover from a Kyphoplasty procedure relatively quickly.
How Does Kyphoplasty Work?
During kyphoplasty, the patient is placed under local or general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the back, and a narrow tube called a trocar is guided through the incision into the fractured vertebral body under fluoroscopic guidance (real-time X-ray imaging). Special balloons are then inserted through the trocar and inflated to create a cavity or void in the collapsed vertebral body. The balloons are deflated and removed, and the created space is filled with bone cement, which hardens and stabilizes the fracture. The procedure is typically performed on both sides of the vertebral body to restore balance and symmetry.
By restoring vertebral height and stabilizing the fractured bone, kyphoplasty aims to relieve pain and improve spinal function. The procedure can help alleviate acute pain associated with the fracture, prevent further collapse of the vertebra, and restore vertebral height, which may improve posture and overall spinal alignment.
- Pain Relief: Kyphoplasty can provide rapid pain relief by stabilizing the fractured vertebra and reducing pressure on surrounding nerves.
- Improved Vertebral Height: The procedure may help restore some of the lost vertebral height, which can improve spinal alignment and reduce deformities.
Recovery and Considerations:
Kyphoplasty is considered a minimally invasive procedure, and most patients experience a relatively quick recovery. After the procedure, patients are typically monitored for a short period before being discharged. They may be advised to limit strenuous activities for a few weeks and may require the use of a back brace for support. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises may also be recommended to help restore strength and mobility.
- Patients can usually go home on the same day or the day after the procedure.
- Limited activity is recommended for a short period to allow the cement to harden.
- Most patients experience immediate pain relief, but full recovery may take some time.
- As with any surgical procedure, kyphoplasty carries risks, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage.
Kyphoplasty is considered when conservative treatments like rest, pain medications, and bracing do not provide sufficient relief. It’s important to discuss the benefits, risks, and suitability of kyphoplasty with your healthcare provider. A thorough evaluation will help determine if this procedure is appropriate for your specific condition.
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