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Osteoporosis weakens bones and causes them to become brittle and break. This often happens in different locations throughout the body, most often in the hip, wrist and spine. When fractures occur in the spine, patients can have extreme and constant pain, deformity and even nerve compression.

WakeMed Raleigh Campus offers a therapeutic and preventative procedure for compression fractures. Performed by specialty trained orthopaedic surgeons, kyphoplasty provides immediate relief from longstanding pain and help patients return to a more active lifestyle.

Prior to having kyphoplasty, patients undergo an MRI to assess the acuity of the compression fracture. For patients who cannot undergo an MRI, a bone scan and CT scan combination can be performed to assess acuity. Optimal results are obtained in patients with active bone edema (swelling) on MRI, usually within two to six weeks of their fracture. The procedure is primarily performed to repair fractures in the middle to lower spine and in the sacral region. Typically, it is not done in the upper spine because of the smaller size of the vertebrae Kyphoplasty.

Kyphoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis. A balloon is introduced into the center of the vertebral body through a catheter to create a cavity in the bone and to increase the height of the fractured vertebra. The balloon is removed and replaced with bone cement, which is injected into the site. This procedure stabilizes the vertebrae and usually brings immediate pain relief to the patient.

The overwhelming majority of patients report no pain from the procedure. If necessary, more than one vertebral level can be performed in a single setting. Post-procedural fluoroscopic images are obtained for documentation. Afterwards, patients remain in bed for two hours. Most patients will have immediate pain relief or significant improvement over the next 48 hours. Following the procedure, patients quickly return to their normal daily activities.

Learn What to Expect from Kyphoplasty