Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical method mainly used to treat Spinal/Vertebral Compression Fracture. It is also known as Balloon Vertebroplasty. Vertebral Compression Fractures (VFC) can found in one or more vertebrae. Osteoporosis is the main cause of vertebral compression fractures. Spinal Compression Fracture occurs when the bony block or vertebral body in the spine collapses causing severe pain, deformity and loss of height. Kyphoplasty creates space for the mixture. In this procedure, a doctor inserts and inflates a balloon to create an opening for the mixture. This space is filled with bone cement and finally the inflated balloon is removed after the cement is injected.
Goals of Kyphoplasty
The goals of a Kyphoplasty surgical procedure include:
- To stop the pain caused due to a spinal fracture.
- To stabilize the bone.
- To restore damaged vertebra’s height.
Suitable Candidates for Kyphoplasty
- Kyphoplasty is the most effective procedure in treating people whose bones are weakened due to cancer.
- This is the most suitable procedure for Osteoporosis
- Kyphoplasty is primarily used for patients who are experiencing mild to severe pain due to vertebral or spinal compression fracture.
Procedure of Kyphoplasty
- Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure hence doctor orders some blood tests before the day of surgery. Imaging tests such as an X-rayor MRI scan is very helpful for spine surgeon to see the area of surgery.
- Patient is given local anesthesia as well as antibiotics to prevent any infections.
- For the Kyphoplasty procedure, doctor asks patient to lie down on stomach. The surgeon inserts a hollow needle (known as Trocar) into the skin. With the help of Fluoroscopy the needle is guided through muscles and into the correct position in the bone.
- Then surgeon inserts an inflatable balloon into the trocar and balloon is inflated to create the space which is required for the bone cement.
- After opening the space, a mixture is injected to fill it up. Imaging tests help the surgeon to confirm whether the mixture is distributed properly or not.
- Once the cement is placed properly, the needle is removed and area is bandaged.
- Kyphopasty procedure usually takes one hour for one vertebra.
Recovery after Kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty procedure provides great pain relief and improves mobility within 48 hours of the procedures. In many cases, patients feel pain relief immediately because Kyphoplasty is performed by minimally invasive techniques. The minimally invasive technique has various advantages like less blood loss, minimal pain, faster recovery, less hospital stay, no chances of infection and no tissue cut. The majority of patients are satisfied with the results. Most of the patients can return to their normal activities within 48 hours after the procedure. Patient should strictly avoid strenuous activities for some days as per the doctor’s advice. Doctor prescribes bone strengthening supplements or medications for faster recovery.
Kyphoplasty is generally performed for patients suffering from progressive back pain mainly caused by osteoporotic or vertebral compression fractures. It is not suitable for treatment of other problems such as disk herniation, arthritis or stenosis. Kyphoplasty procedure is a boon for patients as this is a very effective and low risk procedure.