Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed to reduce pain related to a lumbar or thoracic compression fractures. Fixing the broken vertebrae produces significant pain relief, and allows the patient to return to normal activities. Most patients will notice an immediate improvement in their symptoms.
Kyphoplasty is a treatment option for patients who have painful spinal compression fractures from either fall, trauma or osteoporosis. This is a minimally invasive procedure and is not considered surgery. There is no incision as the procedure is done through a tiny hole in the skin. Patients are discharged home an hour after the procedure.
At Unique Pain Medicine, we perform Kyphoplasty procedures in our Manhattan and Brooklyn locations.
As we age, the bones in our body become weaker and more fragile, which can lead to fractures in the spine. Osteoporosis is a bone weakening condition that is the most common cause of spinal fractures. Patients with a compression fracture experience severe back pain that is exacerbated by movement or deep breathing. These fractures at typically extremely painful, severely limiting function and quality of life.
During the kyphoplasty procedure, cement is injected directly into fractured, collapsed, cracked, or compressed vertebra with the goal of alleviating pain. This procedure stabilizes the fracture, and allows healing to begin.
A thorough medical examination and imaging review prior to the procedure are done to ensure that you are the right candidate. We encourage you to ask questions and become educated about your condition prior to the procedure.
Table of Contents
The Kyphoplasty Procedure
- Before the procedure starts an Anesthesiologist will insert in IV and will give you light anesthesia to help you relax. You may lightly fall asleep, like for a colonoscopy.
- Lidocaine is injected to numb the skin. A specialized needle is then inserted into the fractured vertebral body.
- Using Xray guidance, a cavity will be created in the fractured vertebral body to restore the height of the vertebrae.
- Once the cavity is created a cement called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is delivered. The cement hardens almost immediately, stabilizing the fracture.
- All the instruments will are removed and a band-aid will is applied.
- The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
- You will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Most patients will go home within 60 minutes.
If you’re seeking help with severe back pain from a compression fracture, please contact us at 929-363-0303 or book your appointment online today.
Risk factors for compression fractures
Some conditions put people at increased risk of having a compression fracture. If you have the following conditions and severe back pain secondary to a compression fracture, you could be a candidate for Kyphoplasty:
- Trauma or Fall
- Advanced age
Commonly Asked Questions
What are the side effects of kyphoplasty?
Most side effects are minor, including post procedural soreness and tenderness at the site of the procedure. They usually resolve within a few days. Major side effects are extremely rare.
What is the difference between a vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?
- Vertebroplasty involves injecting cement in to the vertebral body. It does not restore the height of the vertebral body, but rather seals the cracks caused by fracture.
- Kyphoplasty is a procedure intended to restore the height of the damaged vertebral. This procedure restores the height of the fractured vertebra and stabilizes the fracture by sealing the cracks with cement.
Is Kyphoplasty Covered by Insurance?
Yes, kyphoplasy is covered by all health insurance plans.
How long does it take to recover from kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure done under light sedation. Typical the patients are discharged home withing 90 minutes of the procedure and may return to their normal function immediately. It’s not a major surgery.
What are the risks of kyphoplasty?
Although kyphoplasty is a very safe procedure, risks do exist. Those include further damage to the vertebral body, infection, and bleeding if blood thinners are not stopped prior to the procedure. At Unique Pain Medicine, we use all precautions to avoid the above complications. All the images of your spine are carefully reviewed in advance and all the steps are planned prior to your arrival for the procedure.
What is kyphoplasty cement?
Kyphoplasty cement is a filing substance that is injected into the vertebral body to stabilize it and to help seal the fractures. Two categories of the cements are typically used: non-degradable acrylic cement (ABC), and degradable calcium phosphate cement (CPC). At our center we use ABC – a PMMA ( poly-methyl methacrylate) based cement.
What to expect after kyphoplasty?
After the procedure you will be transported to a recovery room for observation, and discharged within 90 minutes after the procedure. No special precautions are needed after the procedure, but the patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities for several weeks.
Is kyphoplasty permanent?
Yes, the cement will stay in your vertebral body forever.
Can kyphoplasty be done on old fractures?
As a general rule we do not perform kyphoplasty on old fractures. The fracture should be acute or sub-acute.
If you are having severe back pain, let our back pain specialists make the proper diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment. Please contact us at 929-363-0303 or book your appointment online today.
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