Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure done to help reduce the pain brought on by a spinal fracture which results in the bone becoming unstable and even a decrease in the individual’s height due to the compressive nature of the fracture. In addition to reducing the pain, the surgery seeks to provide stability to the bone structure as well as possibly partially or fully restoring lost vertebrae height.
The surgical procedure entails a minor incision through the doctor, which allows for the insertion of a small narrow tube. The tube is maneuvered into the correct position via fluoroscopic guidance, which serves as a pathway into the spinal region. With the assistance of X-ray images taken beforehand, a balloon is inserted via the tube directly to the vertebrae. Once it is in place, the balloon is inflated, thus helping to elevate the fracture to its normal state and position. The soft inner bone also becomes compacted, resulting in the creation of a cavity within the vertebrae. Once this phase of the procedure is accomplished, the balloon is removed and a cement-like substance known as polymethylmethacrylate is used to fill the cavity in the vertebrae. This is done of course with special instruments using low pressure for this part of the procedure. Kyphoplasty is also done for fractures sustained as a result of osteoporosis, but that requires a hospital setting and either local or general anesthesia.
This surgical procedure lasts for about an hour for each vertebra operated on. Once the procedure is completed, patients will be directed to a recovery room where for a period of up to 30 minutes, they will be observed to monitor for any possible side effects. The patient will be required to stay at the hospital for one day. In the event the patient is released on the same day, they are expected to arrange for transportation as they are not to drive without approval first from the doctor. Some patients may experience immediate pain relief while others may experience such relief over the course of the next few days following the procedure. Patients are advised to avoid any forms of strenuous and physical exertions for a period of 6 weeks, otherwise, they can go about resuming their daily activities at home.