WHAT IS A KYPHOPLASTY?
A kyphoplasty may be recommended for acute and sub-acute compression fractures of the spine in patients with otherwise healthy bone. Many surgeons recommend for a patient to heal naturally if they are young or have bone disease. Young patient’s compression fractures tend to heal quickly and well. Patients with bone disease may be eliminated as candidates at the physician’s discretion. Kyphoplasty is a relatively young procedure that has made some advances over the years to improve safety. Currently the bone cement is contained within a balloon inserted into the fracture and inflated to prevent first generation complications. For the small number of patients that would benefit from a kyphoplasty the results are almost immediate. A patient goes under anesthesia in severe pain from the crushed vertebrae and wakes up relatively pain free with the vertebrae expanded to its proper size. It is a quick procedure, and very beneficial to the select patients that fall within the proper candidate criteria.
BEFORE A Kyphoplasty
Your provider will do diagnostic testing including an x-ray and MRI to located the precise location of the fracture. They may also draw blood and perform other methods of preoperative testing in order to determine you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. A proper patient will have healthy bone and compression fracture that is new, or very recent. After a short period of time the benefit of a kyphoplasty goes down and the results just don’t make sense to put a patient through the procedure.
DURING a kyphoplasty
Your skilled anesthesiologist will put you under general anesthesia. Using an X-Ray guidance called a Fluoroscope, your surgeon will insert a needle into your back and inflate the balloon. This restores the vertebra’s shape so your surgeon can inject the cement. Under fluoroscope, your surgeon will inject the cement. The doctor will remove the needle and typically there is no need for any stitches for this outpatient, minimally invasive procedure.
AFTER A kyphoplasty
You should immediately notice some paid subside once you wake up in the recovery room. In most cases, you can be up and walking an hour following the procedure. Some soreness may be felt where the surgeon inserted the needle. Typically, you will leave the hospital that same day, but each surgeons protocol is different, and it is possible they may want you to spend the night.