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Kyphoplasty is a surgery that is done to try to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine by stabilizing the broken bone with a substance that works like cement.  Vertebral body fractures lead to the collapse or compression of a vertebra, causing the spine to shorten and curve forward. This can result in pain and a kyphotic (hunched-over) deformity.

Fractures can happen because of osteoporosis, tumors, or other conditions.

Kyphoplasty is generally reserved for people with painful progressive back pain secondary to osteoporotic or pathologic vertebral compression fractures. Candidates for these procedures often experience significant decreases in mobility and function as a result of the fractures.

To be a candidate for a kyphoplasty, a patient’s pain must correlate to the vertebral fracture, and must not be due to other problems, such as disk herniation, arthritis, or stenosis. Imaging tests – such as spinal X-rays, bone scans, and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans – might be ordered to confirm the presence of a vertebral fracture.

Kyphoplasty – An Overview

Dr. Paez may numb the area, or you may get medicine to make you sleep. Dr. Paez makes a small cut in
your back and puts a balloon device into the fractured vertebra. Dr. Paez inflates the balloon and then deflates it. Then he puts a substance that works like cement into the space created by the balloon. It takes 1 to 2 hours to treat each vertebra.

You may go home that day, or you may spend the night in the hospital.

How effective is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty usually provides pain relief and improved mobility within 48 hours of the procedures. In some cases, however, patients feel pain relief immediately. The majority of patients are satisfied with the results, with many returning to all their usual activities they were performing before the vertebral fracture occurred.

Dr. Paez performs kyphoplasty on a patient.

Commonly asked questions about kyphoplasty

What type of anesthesia is used during a kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is considered a minimally invasive procedure that is most often performed using general anesthesia, depending the needs of the patient. In most cases, this procedure is performed as an overnight stay, although many patients do go home the same afternoon.

Is kyphoplasty painful?

Patients may feel sore in the area where the trocar was inserted. However, this should resolve within a couple of days. Applying ice to the area can help relieve any soreness.