Frequently Asked Questions About Kyphoplasty

A person with multiple spine fractures can develop pain and a hunched posture (kyphosis). This stooped condition can decrease the quality of life, reduce pulmonary function and increase the risk of additional injury. Before a kyphoplasty procedure, your doctor will order blood and imaging tests to help them see the area or areas needing repair. You will receive pain and anti-nausea medications, and may be connected to heart, pulse, and blood pressure monitors.

What is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pain from a wedge compression fracture of the vertebral body, a thick block of bone in the front of each spinal vertebra. This type of fracture often results from osteoporosis, a disease that weakens and makes the spine more brittle. This surgery is typically performed outpatient in the operating room or a special procedure room. Before the surgery begins, you will receive numbing medicine through an intravenous line in your arm. Once the area is numb, your surgeon will insert a needle into the targeted area of the spine and then use a thin surgical instrument with a balloon inside (similar to a needle). The balloon is inflated, creating a cavity in the vertebra. It reduces a back-bending condition called kyphosis and raises the height of the vertebral body. Then, the doctor fills the hole with a cement-like mixture. X-rays and CT scans may be used to guide the instruments. The balloon is withdrawn after the cement injection, and the muscles and skin are wrapped. The procedure usually takes less than an hour. You will stay in the recovery room for an hour or two and then can go home.

What is the Cost of Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty, also known as vertebral augmentation, is an effective treatment for compression fractures of the spine, commonly caused by osteoporosis. It uses a catheter with a hollow, balloon-like tip inserted into the affected vertebrae. When inflated, the balloon elevates the fractured bone and compacts soft inner bone tissue to create a cavity in the center of the vertebrae. Then, medical-grade cement is injected into the space created by the balloon, promoting spinal stability and easing back pain. After the cement is injected, the doctor removes the balloon and needle. The area is covered with a bandage, and no sutures are required. In most cases, patients are released the same day of their procedure but may be asked to stay in a hospital overnight if they need additional monitoring. The kyphoplasty Jacksonville FL can be done in a hospital or outpatient surgical facility under local or general anesthesia, often by a spine specialist.

How is kyphoplasty performed?

During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a needle into your back and, guided by real-time X-ray images, passes it through your skin and into the fractured vertebrae. The balloon is then inflated, raising the compressed vertebra to its normal height and creating a space for the bone cement (polymethylmethacrylate). It increases the spine’s height, alleviates pain, and prevents further vertebrae compression. It also allows for improved posture and lessens a hunched-back appearance.

After removing the balloon, the surgeon uses a special tool to inject the bone cement mixture into the space it created. It hardens and strengthens the vertebrae. The procedure is outpatient, and you will likely be able to return home within an hour of the surgery. The spot where the needle enters your back may feel uncomfortable, although this normally only lasts one or two days.

What is the Recovery from Kyphoplasty?

Patients should avoid strenuous exercise for two weeks before returning to their usual activities when they feel ready. Pain and soreness are normal but should be managed with prescription-strength or over-the-counter painkillers. Your doctor will likely want to perform blood and imaging tests to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. You will receive an intravenous line to deliver anesthesia and pain medications. Your surgeon will operate on your spine and back muscles using a tiny surgical device resembling a needle. They will then inflate a balloon at the end of the needle. It creates space in the bone for the cement mixture and helps reduce unwanted kyphosis. Your surgeon will inject the cement mixture through the needle and into the fractured bone, using X-ray images to guide them. Once the cement has been set, your doctor will remove the needle and balloon.