Kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat spinal compression fractures, which can lead to shortening of the spine and a hunched-over appearance. These small vertebral fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty restores the original shape and size of the affected vertebra, helping to relieve pain and improve mobility.
Signs kyphoplasty could help you
Kyphoplasty is used to treat patients with persistent, progressive back pain from vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis. These patients often have reduced movement or function because of the fractures.
The following signs and symptoms may indicate a spinal compression fracture:
Back pain, especially with slight back strain
Pain that worsens upon standing or walking with some relief when lying down
Difficulty bending or twisting
Loss of height
A curved or stooped shape to your spine (also called kyphosis)
Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT, or MRI scans can be used to confirm vertebral fractures.
Preventing osteoporosis and compression fractures
Osteoporosis causes the bones to weaken and is the primary cause of spinal compression fractures that require treatment with kyphoplasty.
Dietary and lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and spinal compression fractures:
Consume plenty of vitamin D and calcium
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
Get regular exercise, including increasing weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activity
About the procedure
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, same-day procedure that will allow you to return to normal activity as soon as possible. The procedure uses a small balloon-like device inserted by a needle to open up a space in the affected vertebra(e). Then, a special bone cement is injected to restore the vertebra’s original size and shape and relieve pain.
Recovering from kyphoplasty
After the procedure, you may experience pain relief and improved mobility immediately or within 48 hours. You might feel some pain or soreness at the injection site for a couple days, which you can relieve with ice. You can return to normal activity, but avoid extreme exertion such as heavy lifting for at least six weeks.
Risks of kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty is a very low-risk procedure, but there are some slight risks to be aware of:
Increased back pain
Nerve damage causing tingling, numbness, or weakness
Allergic reaction to chemicals used for image guidance
Cement leaking out of position
You should discuss your specific medical condition and any concerns with your physician before the procedure.