Often performed with vertebroplasty, Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to treat compression fractures or a break in the vertebra. It allows you to move freely without making you stay overnight at the hospital.
Vertebroplasty involves injecting a cement mixture in the bone to provide strength to it. Kyphoplasty makes space to allow the doctor to inject the mixture within the bone. Your doctor will insert and then inflate a balloon to make room for the mixture during this procedure. After injecting the cement, your doctor will remove the balloon.
The other name for the procedure is balloon vertebroplasty. When performed together, the procedures will be successful if you go for them within two months of the diagnosis of a fracture. They help to improve mobility and relieve pain when all the other methods fail to provide you some relief.
Who needs Kyphoplasty?
People having weakened bones due to cancer or having collapsed vertebrae because of osteoporosis (a disease in which there is the loss of bone density) can experience the best results of the procedure, then treated well. Kyphoplasty along with vertebroplasty treats all the recent fractures but these procedures aren’t a preventive technique.
Doctors usually don’t advise these procedures to people with herniated disks, curved spine due to scoliosis, or back arthritis.
Preparing for the procedure
What to expect?
Your doctor will ask you to lie down on a table and shave the area of insertion of the needle. He or she will then clean and sterilize the area and inject a local anesthetic agent. Your surgeon will insert a trocar (hollow needle) into your skin and guide the needle through your body muscles into the correct position within your bone with the help of fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray). Followed by this, he or she will insert an inflated balloon into the trocar to create space for the cement mixture to be injected into the bone.
When space opens up, your doctor will inject the mixture to fill up space. To ensure proper distribution of the mixture, the surgeon will use imaging tests. Next, he or she will remove the needle when the cement is in place. There won’t be any need for stitches and the nurse will apply bandages. After this, they will remove your IV and monitoring equipment. The procedure will last an hour if there is a need to treat only one vertebra.
The nurse will shift you to a recovery room after the surgery. You might need to get up and take a walk one hour after the procedure. You may experience some soreness. The doctor won’t ask you to stay overnight and you will be able to go the same day. However, he or she might ask you to stay overnight in the hospital if:
- The doctor performed the surgery on more than one vertebra
- Your overall health condition is not good
- There were complications during the surgery.
Your doctor will instruct you then you will be able to resume your routine activities and whether you need medications & bone-strengthening supplements or not. The doctor will inform you about your follow-up visit to monitor your progress and if you are in a good condition. If you have soreness or pain, an ice pack can help you get some relief immediately and you will feel better after 2 days of the surgery.