What is a kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to treat vertebral compression fractures of the spine. When several vertebrae become wedge-shaped, people can develop a humped spine, called kyphosis. People with bones weakened by osteoporosis (a depletion of calcium) or multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) are especially prone to compression fractures. Activities, such as lifting a heavy object, sneezing, or coughing may cause fractures. In kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted and inflated to expand the compressed vertebra to its normal height before filling the space with bone cement. The procedures are repeated for each affected vertebra. The cement-strengthened vertebra allows you to stand straight, reduces your pain, and prevents further fractures.

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.