TREATMENTS & PROCEDURES
Kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat these painful compression fractures in the spine. It’s a minimally invasive vertebral augmentation surgery which involves injecting acrylic bone cement into the fracture through a hole in the skin.
Performed in-office, it is a short procedure, taking less than an hour, that can relieve acute pain, and is ideally performed within the first two months of the fracture. It is also known as balloon kyphoplasty.
Kyphoplasty requires no hospitalization, incision or sutures compared to other procedures like a spinal fusion.
Kyphoplasty - about the procedure
During the kyphoplasty, the patient will lie face down on a table. The doctor will clean the area of the back and apply numbing medication to the area. In some cases, light sedation is used.
A needle is placed through the skin and into the spine bone. Real-time x-ray images are used to guide the doctor to the correct area of the back.
A balloon is placed through the needle, into the bone, and then inflated. This elevates the collapsed vertebrae, restoring it to its height. At that point, a special type of cement called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is injected into the broken bone to stabilize it.
The patient is discharged following a short observation period.
An estimated 750,000 new osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures occur each year in the U.S., according to a 2019 report published by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. These fractures happen when one or all of the bones of the spinal column weakens and collapses. These fractures tend to be painful, and if left untreated, impact the overall health and well-being of an individual.
The best candidates for this procedure are patients who have suffered compression fractures of the vertebras recently – within two weeks or months? of the original accident. Also those who are experiencing severe pain and discomfort that has not been alleviated through rest, short-term medication, medical equipment like braces and/or physical therapy.
Natural healing has some drawbacks including possible reliance on pain medication, loss of muscle or spine-function with being sedentary.
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