What is a Kyphoplasty?
Compression fractures and vertebral breaks can cause bone fragments to develop and rub against each other – often making it difficult for patients to move freely and have spinal flexibility.
The Kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, are both minimally-invasive procedures that help to treat such spine fractures. These procedures are often done in conjunction. In a vertebroplasty procedure, a surgeon injects a cement mixture into the bone in order to make it stronger.
Kyphoplasty is used to make room for such a mixture. Usually, a kyphoplasty starts with a doctor inserting and inflating a balloon in order to create the opening needed. after the cement is injected, the balloon is removed. The goal of such a combination of procedures is to relieve pain and improve mobility in the spine.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Kyphoplasty?
The kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are used in order to mend the bones for an individual who has experienced a recent fracture. They are most effective for those individuals whose bones have been weakened for a number of reasons, the most notable being cancer or a vertebral collapse due to osteoporosis – a disease in which patients experience a loss in bone density.
Bone cement has not been used for too many years, and therefore little is truly known about its long term effects – especially when sued in the treatment of children or young adults – these procedures are mainly for the elder segments of society. In addition, it is advised that patients suffering from certain back issues should avoid these procedures.
Usually, before these procedures, certain imaging tests must be performed such as X-Rays or MRIs, in order to properly identify what needs to be repaired. You will also be given an IV for anesthesia, and certain monitors for the heart, pulse, and blood pressure.
The procedure requires the following steps:
- A hollow needle known as a trocar is inserted into the skin. the needle is guided through the muscles and into the bone.
- An inflatable balloon is then inserted into the trocar and inflated to create space for bone cement.
- Once the space is opened up, the cement mixture is then injected to fill it up.
- After the cement has filled the space, the needle can then be removed.
- The area is bandaged and closed. All other IVs and monitors are also removed.
Recovery is an important part of the process. generally, it will require you to stay in bed for a for an hour or so after the procedure. Patients are expected to be fairly sore immediately after. After some time, it is important to get up and walk around the room for a short amount of time. depending on the patient, you might need to stay in the hospital overnight or go home later that same day. You will likely have to stay overnight if:
- Your procedure involves more than one vertebra.
- If there were complications.
- You’re in poor overall health.
Side Effects or Complications
There is always some type of risk with any surgical procedure. However, this procedure is fairly safe, in some cases, patients might experience some nerve damage, numbness, tingling, or weakness after the procedure.
For more information on this or any other procedures, contact Dr. Arutyunyan today.