Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that inserts a special cement into your vertebrae – while also creating space for the treatment using a balloon-like tool.
Kyphoplasty is often recommended for patients with vertebrae that are damaged from cancer, spinal fractures or other spinal injuries. Often, the surgery is done for patients whose bones have weakened and caused the collapse or compression of their vertebrae. Collapsed or compressed vertebrae can lead to excruciating pain or bad posture.
Kyphoplasty is not used to correct established deformity of the spine. Some patients with osteoporosis are not candidates for this procedure, either.
How does kyphoplasty work?
Before the procedure, the doctor will check out the patient and possibly draw blood and take X Rays to find the fractures or injured vertebrae.
Here’s what you can expect during the procedure:
- An anesthesiologist will give you medicine through an IV. The meds will either relax you or put you to sleep.
- Using an X Ray for guidance, your doctor will insert a needle through your skin and back muscles and then into the bone. Next, the doctor will use an inflated balloon to help the vertebrae take its normal shape.
- The cement will be injected into your vertebrae, with the doctor using the X Ray and the balloon to make sure it goes into the right place.
- The needle will be removed. No stitches will be used.
- Usually, the whole thing lasts less than an hour. Sometimes, it can take longer if you have more vertebrae impacted.
Here’s what you can expect after the procedure:
- Patients might have to stay overnight in a hospital after a kyphoplasty, but often they go home the same day.
- You might even be walking as soon as an hour after the procedure is finished. The only soreness you’ll feel from the procedure is in the areas where the needle went into your back. That won’t last more than a few days.
- You might quickly observe that you feel less pain than you did before the kyphoplasty.
- It’s up to your doctor whether your activities will be restricted after the procedure.
What are the risks of a kyphoplasty?
As with any medical procedure, there are a few risks associated with a kyphoplasty. These include:
- More back pain than before the surgery
- Nerve damage that can cause tingling, numbness or weakness
- Chemicals from the X Rays can cause an allergic reaction.
- In some cases, the cement can leak out of the vertebrae.