Kyphoplasty surgical procedure helps in stopping the pain caused by a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions, to stabilize the bone and to restore some or all of the broken vertebrae. A compression fracture or a break in one of the vertebra can be painful and make it difficult for the patient to move freely. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which surgeon will insert and inflate a balloon to create a space or opening for injecting special cement into the vertebrae to give it strength. The balloon is removed after the cement is injected. Kyphoplasty can restore a damaged vertebra’s height, may relieve the pain, improve mobility and is sometimes referred to as balloon vertebroplasty.
There are other advantages of kyphoplasty such as:
• Short surgery time
• Can be done with local anesthesia
• Minimal hospital stay
• Reduced back pain
• Improvement in mobility
• Faster recovery
Doctor recommends kyphoplasty to the patients who are suffering from spine deformity (that may cause hunch posture), osteoporosis (weakness of bones), spine fractures or cancer-damaged vertebrae. Patient may require undergoing several tests such as blood tests, imaging tests like X-ray, MRI or CT scan to see the exact location of the fracture. On the day of the surgery, patient will be given anesthesia, pain medication, anti-nausea and antibiotics to prevent infection through intravenous line (IV). Heart rate, pulse and blood pressure of the patient will be monitored during the procedure.
During the surgery, patient will have to lie down on his/her belly on the operating table under the influence of general or local anesthesia. Surgeon will make a small incision in the back through specialized tubes that are placed directly into the fractured vertebra which is done under the guidance of fluoroscopy to see the precise position. With the help of X-ray images, surgeon will insert a special balloon through each tube into the collapsed vertebrae. Once the balloons are placed properly, they are carefully inflated that elevates the fracture and re-establishing the original height of the collapsed vertebra. It also compacts the soft inner bones to create a hallow cavity inside the vertebrae. Surgeon will then remove the balloons by deflating it and injects bone cement into the vertebra through the tubes. After being injected, the cement hardens quickly within minutes. The whole procedure is usually done within 30-45 minutes.
Patient is discharged from the hospital the next day and doctor will suggest some pain medications, vitamins to strengthen the bones and physical therapy can usually be safely initiated within two weeks after the kyphoplasty surgery. He or she can resume their normal daily activities but should avoid doing strenuous exertion such as heavy lifting at least for six weeks.
Although kyphoplasty is a safer procedure but still there are few risks and complications associated with this surgery that involves:
• Infection at the wound site
• Unexpected bleeding
• Increased or persistent back pain
• Numbness or weakness because of injury to nerves
• Cement material leakage
• Heart attack
• Damaged blood vessels