The Vault

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a revolutionary procedure that has changed the lives of thousands of Americans who suffer a compression fracture.This is often due to osteoporosis or thinning of the bones, that occurs as we age.

As mentioned earlier, compression fractures and cause pain and progress. This leads to a postural deformity known as kyphosis, a c-shaped abnormality of the spine seen in many of our elderly patients. Lastly, this progression can cause retropulsion of bone fragments back into the spinal cord.

Kyphoplasty achieves three primary goals. If caught early, it can re-establish the height of the vertebral body back to its normal configuration, preventing the postural deformity. It fixes the pain, as the fractured bone no longer moves around irritating the fibrous lining of the backbone. And finally, it stabilizes the fracture preventing progression and retropulsion into the spinal cord.

An IV will be started and sedation given. A live x-ray will be used to identify the area of interest in both the straight on view and lateral view. Skin marks will be placed on your skin and local anesthetic will numb the skin, subcutaneous tissue and periosteum over the bone. A device called a trochar is advanced carefully into the vertebral body through a structure called the pedicle. A balloon is then inflated under live X-ray to assure proper placement and reestablishment of height. Depending on the location of the balloon, this may be repeated on the other side. This balloon creates a void in the bone, and cement is then injected into that void to stabilize the fracture. Careful attention is focused on assuring that the cement stays in the anterior two-thirds of the vertebral body and that it crosses the mid portion of the vertebral body. The cement is dry within 10 minutes and the procedure is complete.

Patients can resume regular activities within a day. You may have some mild soreness from passing the trochar in soft tissue.

Our practice has performed over one thousand kyphoplasties without a single devastating outcome. It is important that your practitioner not only has a lot of experience but can also handle any complications. Cement traveling along a fracture line backward into the canal is always a risk, and having a spine surgeon who can deal with this is mandatory. Our practice offers exactly that breadth of service, and you can be sure that you’ll be getting the best care possible.