Kyphoplasty, commonly referred to as “vertebral augmentation,” is a minimally invasive procedure for individuals suffering from painful spinal compression fractures. Spinal compression fracture often do not heal on their own and can cause serious health problems like: strenuous breathing, extreme pain, limited mobility, depression, and on rare occasions, premature death if left untreated. This procedure is ideal for treating compression fractures because it has low risk for complication, can be performed in a short amount of time, and can provide immediate pain relief and bone stabilization.
Kyphoplasty is similar to vertebroplasty, but requires a special tool. Kyphoplasty is performed while the patient is under conscious sedation and involves inserting and gently inflating a small balloon inside damaged vertebrae to deliver a cement-like substance. The intent is to restore bone height and reduce the risk of spinal deformity. This substance essentially “sets” the fragile fracture, allowing the soft inner bone of the vertebral body to strengthen and heal.
The entire procedure could take less than an hour if only one vertebrae needs to be repaired. If there are more, the procedure could last a few hours. Regardless, the procedure generally allows patients to get back to their normal day-to-day activities shortly after. Talk to your Southwest Spine and Pain Center physician about kyphoplasty if you’re suffering from moderate to severe back pain.