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What is the Kyphoplasty Procedure?

Kyphoplasty, similar to vertebroplasty, is design to stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture, to stabilize the bone, and to restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height caused by a compression fracture(s).

What can I expect during Kyphoplasty?

  1. During Kyphoplasty a small incision is made in the back through which the doctor places a narrow tube.
  2. Using fluoroscopy to guide it to the correct position, the tube creates a path through the back into the fracture area through the pedicle of the involved vertebrae.
  3. Using fluoroscopy images the doctor inserts a special balloon through the tube and into the vertebrae and then gently inflates this balloon. As the balloon inflates it elevates the fracture returning the pieces to a more normal position. The balloon also compacts the soft inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.
  4. The balloon is removed and the doctor uses specifically designed instruments under low pressure to fill the cavity with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). After being injected, the pasty material hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.

What conditions is Kyphoplasty used to treat?

Kyphoplasty is used to treat and stabilize fractures in the vertebrae. Unstable fractured vertebrae may be caused by osteoporosis or a trauma causing fracture such as an auto accident. This procedure is generally performed under local and conscious sedation.

What Happens After the Procedure?

The procedure takes about one hour for each vertebra involved. Patients will be observed closely in the recovery room immediately following the kyphoplasty procedure for about 1-3 hours. Patients should not drive until they are given approval by their doctor.

For some patients pain relief will be immediate. For others elimination or reduction of pain is reported within a couple of days.