Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty

What is Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty?

When a vertebra fractures, the bone’s standard shape becomes compressed, and it can lead to the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine. This compression is highly painful and often the result of a condition known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile and brittle, making them more vulnerable to breakage. Other conditions such as osteomyelitis (bone infection) and physical trauma can also cause compression fractures.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are two procedures that are often performed together in order to strengthen the vertebrae after a fracture or breakage. These procedures can also restore a damaged vertebra’s height, improve mobility, and relieve pain. This treatment form is more likely to succeed if conducted within the first couple of months after a fracture is diagnosed. Consult one of our physicians to see if kyphoplasty is right for you.

How Do Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty Work?

The first step is kyphoplasty, in which a balloon-like device is inserted into the affected area to create the necessary space to apply the treatment. Using fluoroscopy, one of our interventional pain specialists inserts a hollow needle containing the balloon and inflates it to make space. Lastly, a special cement mixture is injected and distributed accordingly. This step is what is known as vertebroplasty.

An anesthetic is applied to the incision site to numb the area and prevent excessive discomfort. Your physician will also start an IV line and set up monitoring equipment for your safety. Soreness at the point of needle placement is expected 1 to 3 days after the procedure. Cold treatment on the affected area can help relieve pain.

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Preparing for Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty

Due to kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty’s surgical nature, a series of tests and exams are necessary in order to determine your eligibility for treatment. A medical evaluation is required to confirm the presence of a compression fracture. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and carefully consider your medical and family history. The following tests may also be recommended:

  • Blood work
  • CT & MRI scans
  • Spinal x-rays
  • Radioisotope bone scan
  • Diagnostic imaging

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can provide rapid pain relief for patients suffering from a compression fracture. In most cases, this minimally invasive procedure is regarded as a safe and effective treatment form. If you suffer from compression fracture pain, contact our office right away. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about our treatment options.

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