With one or more vertebral compression fractures, you can potentially experience back pain and abnormal hunching forward (kyphosis). Symptoms are typically manageable without surgery. However, minimally invasive surgery (kyphoplasty) is recommended when non-surgical treatments fail to relieve pain.
The vertebral body is the strong, thick, cylindrical front of the vertebral bone that plays a vital role in handling heavy loads placed on the spine. When a vertebral body is weakened, it is less capable of handling heavy loads and more susceptible to vertebral compression fractures. Kyphoplasty aims to help restore some of the lost vertebral height and stabilize the fractured vertebrae to eliminate associated back pain.
Most vertebral compression fractures heal on their own, and the pain eventually goes away. However, when the vertebral compression fracture has been verified and significant pain persists despite nonsurgical treatments, kyphoplasty may be considered if the following are true:
Before deciding on kyphoplasty as treatment, doctors must also decide if the patient is healthy enough for the procedure.
Before undergoing a kyphoplasty procedure, it’s recommended to quit or reduce unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol or tobacco usage. Tobacco in particular may reduce the chance of bone healing after the procedure.
About a week or so before the procedure, some medications may need to be temporarily halted until after. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or blood thinners may increase the risk for complications during the procedure, such as negatively interacting with anesthesia or increasing bleeding. Most patients will not be allowed to have any food or drink six hours before the kyphoplasty procedure. A small amount of water may be allowed up to two hours before surgery.
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Kyphoplasty is an effective treatment for restoring vertebral height and eliminating pain from vertebral compression fractures. Compared to a similar procedure known as vertebroplasty, which stabilizes the fracture without restoring vertebral height, kyphoplasty can offer the same amount of pain relief with similar risks. Kyphoplasty may help the patient achieve better function to protect against future falls or other serious complications.
No medical procedure is 100% risk-free, including kyphoplasty. Some common factors that may increase the risk of symptomatic complications include:
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Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery performed through a small skin puncture rather than a larger incision. A typical kyphoplasty procedure takes one to two hours per vertebral level to complete. Although there are risks, there are also significant benefits to the procedure. A skilled spine surgeon will help patients decide whether kyphoplasty is the best treatment for their condition.
Our award-winning medical team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic offers the latest in research, technology, treatments for pain management, and minimally invasive surgery. Our spine surgeons are leaders in their fields dedicated to delivering minimally invasive spine surgeries to eliminate the pain, discomfort, and dysfunction of numerous neck and back conditions. NJSO combines advanced technology with a patient-centered approach to ensure our patients get the best possible outcomes. Schedule an appointment with one of our spine specialists today by filling out our contact form or calling (866) 272-9271.
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