The Vault

Kyphoplasty Procedure
December 26, 2016
Kyphoplasty and Associated Risks
December 30, 2016

Kyphoplasty is an effective treatment for spinal fractures. Relief from pain, improvement of posture, and the ability to return to normal activities are the benefits a patient will receive if he or she undergoes the procedure.

Getting Ready

A patient will need to meet with a doctor prior to the procedure to have a physical exam. Tests such as an MRI scan or X-rays may be necessary, so a doctor will be able to see the fractures. If a doctor requires an MRI scan, a patient needs to disclose any vitamins, medicines, herbs, or supplements he or she is taking. It is also important to know if a patient is allergic to dyes and any medicines used in X-rays. Before the procedure, a patient should stop taking medicines such as aspirin that thin the blood. A patient also needs to abstain from eating or drinking anything several hours before the procedure. Bringing someone to the procedure to drive a patient home afterward is advised.

The Procedure

Medicine will be administered to a patient through an IV line put into a vein in the patient’s arm or hand. The nerve blocker or anaesthesia provided before the kyphoplasty procedure either relaxes patients, keeping them from feeling pain or puts the patients to sleep before the procedure.

A patient needs to lie face down on an operating table during the surgery. X-ray equipment will be needed to guide a doctor in the procedure. The doctor will insert a needle into the patient’s skin and back muscles and into the vertebra. A balloon(s) will then be put in through the needle and inflated to open a space where cement with a thick, paste-like consistency will be injected. The cement can restore the bone’s normal shape and orientation. After the cement mixture has been injected, the needle will be removed, and the doctor may need to put stitches in the patient’s back. The procedure will take about an hour to finish, but it can be longer than that if there are two or more vertebrae that need to be treated.

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