What is a Kyphoplasty?
A kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures that may occur as a result of degenerative bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, trauma, or cancer. Kyphoplasty can also be used to restore height when a patient’s vertebrae has collapsed resulting in abnormal curvature of the spine.
A kyphoplasty procedure is often performed in conjunction with a vertebroplasty. During a vertebroplasty, cement is injected into the bone to stabilize a fracture. During a kyphoplasty, a balloon is inserted and inflated to create a cavity for the cement to be injected. As such, a kyphoplasty is also known as a balloon vertebroplasty. When performed together, these procedures can help reduce pain and increase mobility for patients who have not found relief with non-surgical treatments.
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What to Expect from Kyphoplasty
If we believe you may be a good candidate for kyphoplasty, our Austin pain specialists will walk you through how to prepare for your procedure. Typically, patients are asked to avoid taking certain medications, such as aspirin, that make it difficult for blood to clot. Additionally, patients may be asked to avoid eating or drinking the day of the procedure. Your doctor will give you specific directions during your appointment.
During the actual kyphoplasty procedure, patients will receive IV sedation along with a local anesthetic at the treatment area to ensure patient comfort. Using a live X-ray for guidance, the doctor will insert a specialized needle through the skin into the damaged vertebrae. Using that same needle, a balloon is inserted into the vertebrae, where the balloon is then inflated. As the balloon inflates, the height of the vertebrae is restored. Once the balloon is removed, a cement mixture is injected into the cavity that was created by the balloon. The addition of this cement mixture helps to relieve pain by stabilizing the fracture and prevents the vertebrae from collapsing further.
The Kyphoplasty Process
Schedule an Appointment
Contact the kyphoplasty specialists at Greater Austin Pain Center to request an appointment at one of our three pain management centers in Central Texas.
During your initial appointment, our doctors will take the time to learn about your history with pain and order any necessary imaging (MRI or x-rays) to identify the root cause. This appointment will help us determine whether kyphoplasty is a viable option for you.
Patients will receive IV sedation and local anesthesia prior to the procedure. The doctor will then insert a specialized needle, under fluoroscopic guidance, into the fractured vertebrae and inflate a balloon to restore vertebral height. A bone cement mixture will then be injected to stabilize the fractured vertebrae to relieve pain.
While patients are typically able to return to their daily activities the same day, patients should make arrangements to have someone drive them home after kyphoplasty for added precaution.
What Does Kyphoplasty Treat?
Kyphoplasty is used to relieve severe pain associated with vertebral compression fractures. Vertebral compression fractures can occur due to trauma, osteoporosis, and cancer. If one of your vertebrae has fractured or collapsed, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can restore the vertebrae’s height and relieve pain. If you’re suffering from pain that has not responded to medication or other conservative treatment options, kyphoplasty may be a suitable treatment option for you.
To learn more about how kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can help manage your pain, contact the pain doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for kyphoplasty?
If you’re experiencing pain from a recent vertebral compression fracture, you may be a candidate for kyphoplasty and should strive to receive treatment within 12 weeks of the fracture for the highest chance of restoring height. Kyphoplasty may not be an option for patients with a chronic spinal deformity. To find out if you’re a candidate, contact us to schedule an appointment.
What are the side effects of kyphoplasty?
Common side effects of kyphoplasty may include pain or soreness at the injection site for up to 48 hours after the procedure. An ice pack can be used to relieve pain and soreness.
What are the risks of kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is considered a relatively low risk procedure. As with almost any procedure it does carry risks of infection at the injection site, allergic reaction, bleeding, nerve damage, increased back pain, or bone cement leakage. These risks will be discussed in detail with your pain management provider.
What is the difference between a kyphoplasty and a vertebroplasty?
During a vertebroplasty, a pain management doctor will inject a bone cement mixture into your vertebral body to stabilize the fracture. During a kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted through a needle and then inflated to create a cavity for the bone cement mixture. Both procedures are often performed simultaneously.
How long does a kyphoplasty procedure take?
The entire kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty procedure can be completed in less than an hour as an outpatient procedure. If multiple vertebrae are treated, the procedure may take a little longer.
How long does it take to recover from a kyphoplasty procedure?
Most patients are able to go home immediately after kyphoplasty but should make arrangements to have someone drive them. Patients may experience some mild pain or swelling at the injection site, but can return to their normal routine the next day.
Treat Your Spine Pain with Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty
If you suffer from spine pain related to a vertebral compression fracture, schedule an appointment with the pain doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center to learn more about kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. With locations in Austin, Kyle, and Dripping Springs, our pain management doctors are ready to help you find a solution to manage your pain.