What is a kyphoplasty, and what benefit does it provide?
Patients who have spinal compression fractures could benefit from a kyphoplasty. This procedure potentially restores vertebrae bone height and reverses spinal deformity. It is most effective when completed soon after the compression fractures occur, usually within two to three months.
During the kyphoplasty procedure, patients are under either general or local anesthesia and lie face down. The orthopedic surgeon threads a thin tube through an incision in the back up to the fractured vertebra, drills a small hole through the outer part of the bone into the soft center, inserts a balloon, and, then, inflates it. Doing this pushes the pieces of the fractured vertebra apart to restore its original shape. The surgeon then deflates and removes the balloon, filling the cavity with bone cement.
For many patients, pain relief is immediate, and others report the disappearance of reduction of pain within two days. Normal daily activities can be resumed once patients return home, but strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least six weeks.