Most compression fractures of the spine are attributed to osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty is a procedure that stabilizes the fracture, helps restore the height of the collapsed vertebral fracture and reduces the associated pain.
IS KYPHOPLASTY RIGHT FOR ME?
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES IT TREAT?
Kyphoplasty is indicated in the treatment of painful vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, some primary bone tumors, and metastatic disease.
HOW DOES KYPHOPLASTY WORK TO CONTROL MY PAIN?
Most vertebral compression fractures occur in the thoracolumbar region. Besides restoring height of a collapsed vertebrae and improving kyphosis (hunchback), kyphoplasty may play a role in improving the pulmonary function in COPD patients with vertebral compression fractures.
PREPARING FOR TREATMENT
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY KYPHOPLASTY THERAPY?
Once the site is prepped for the procedure local anesthesia will be applied to the targeted site to further reduce pain. Under fluoroscopy an introducer cannula will slowly be advanced to enter the pedicle of the vertebral body. Under multiple views the cannula is then further advanced into the center of the vertebral body near the anterior margin where the fracture is primary focalized. Once optimal placement is made with the cannula a balloon apparatus is inflated to build a cavity within the vertebral body for cement to eventually be injected into. The inflated balloon also helps restore the height of the compressed vertebral body and improve alignment of the spine. Cement (polymethylmethacrylate) is then administered under real-time fluoroscopy. Under careful review small increments of PMMA are injected into the cavity to make sure there is no extravasation outside of the bone or into the vessels. Once contrast flow is adequately spread into the vertebral body and vertebral body height and alignment are restored the cannula is removed and the incision site is cleaned with dressing placement.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Pain relief will be immediate for some patients. In others, elimination or reduction of pain is reported within two days. Often patients may notice improvement in their posture such as a correction in a patient’s kyphosis or hunchback. At home, patients can return to their normal daily activities, although strenuous exertion, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least six weeks. Patients should see their physician to begin or review their treatment plan for osteoporosis, including medications to prevent further bone loss.