Kyphoplasty is a surgical treatment used to treat certain conditions that cause pain in the spine. Patients with these conditions usually find the procedure to be beneficial in that it reduces their pain-related symptoms.
What is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a non-invasive surgical treatment for certain conditions that cause spinal damage. When a patient has damaged vertebrae or spinal fractures, kyphoplasty is a common recommendation to help increase mobility and daily function.
This procedure can repair a patient’s height and help relieve their pain. Typically, this surgery is performed by either an interventional radiologist or an interventional neuroradiologist.
Two small incisions are made and a probe is placed into the vertebral space where the fracture is located, using flouroscopic guidance. A specially designed balloon is inserted, inflated with contrast medium until they expand to the desired height and removed. The spaces created by the balloons are then filled with cement, binding the fracture. The cement hardens quickly, providing strength and stability to the vertebra, restoring height and relieving pain.
Symptoms Kyphoplasty Treats
Kyphoplasty is only recommended for specific ailments, such as fractures in the spine and damaged vertebrae. Patients often will have collapsed or damaged vertebrae due to osteoporosis, cancer or other diseases. Pathologic cerebral compression is another condition that can benefit from this procedure.
Patients with these kinds of spinal conditions often cannot move well and struggle with day-to-day tasks. If you are experiencing progressive back pain that increases over time, you may be suited for kyphoplasty treatment. Kyphoplasty may help to restore your vertebrae and reduce the pain.
You may be a candidate for kyphoplasty if you experience any of the following conditions:
- Chronic back pain related to vertebral compression fractures
- Kyphotic (hunched over) deformity
- Cancer-damaged vertebrae
How Does Kyphoplasty Work?
How is a kyphoplasty procedure done? First, the doctor will examine you. Usually, this is done by your interventional radiologist or neuroradiologist. If they decide that you are a good candidate for this procedure, they will move forward with scheduling the surgery.
During the procedure, you will be put under anesthesia. Using an X-ray to guide them, your doctors will insert a needle in the skin and muscles in the back.
Next, a balloon will inflate, helping to keep your vertebrae in the correct shape. Then, a special cement is injected to make the vertebrae hold the correct shape and position.
Finally, the needle is removed, and there is no need for stitches afterward. This procedure is considered non-invasive because it requires only a small incision. This procedure can last less than 1 hour or up to a few hours, depending on how many of your vertebrae are damaged.
Benefits of Kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty is often used to treat certain painful conditions in the spine, such as fractures, damaged vertebrae, and osteoporosis. Here are some of the additional benefits you can expect when choosing kyphoplasty as part of your treatment plan:
- Reduced back pain
- Height restoration
- Increased mobility
- Improved quality life
- Increased function of daily activities, like walking
- Decreased number of days in bed
Remember that there are always risks to any procedure as well, such as infections or allergic reactions, so it is best to talk with your doctor to figure out whether or not a kyphoplasty procedure is the right treatment option to suit your unique health needs.