What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty (say “KY-foh-plas-tee”) is a procedure for your back. It is done to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine. It can return your vertebrae to a more normal shape.

The doctor makes a small cut in your back. Then he or she inserts a hollow needle or tube called a trocar. Fluoroscopy, a kind of X-ray, is used to guide the needle to the fractured vertebra.

When the needle is in place, the doctor inserts a balloon. The balloon is inflated and then deflated. Using the hollow needle, the doctor puts a cement substance into the space created by the balloon.

It takes about 1 to 2 hours to treat each vertebra. You may go home that day, or you may spend the night in the hospital.

Most people are able to go back to their normal activities within a day.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take

Benefits:

  • Without treatment, the fractures will eventually heal, but in a collapsed position. The benefit of kyphoplasty is that your vertebra is returned to normal position before the bone hardens. Patients who’ve had kyphoplasty report significantly less pain after treatment
  • In a recent study of kyphoplasty, pain levels in patients dropped from an average of 8.6 before surgery (on a 10-point scale) to 2.1 three months after surgery . Additionally, out of a total of 51 patients who either couldn’t move around on their own or required assistance to move, only 8 patients couldn’t move around without assistance after three months.