An innovative and minimally invasive surgical treatment, kyphoplasty is used mainly to treat compression fractures in the spine. Kyphoplasty involves inflating a balloon at the site of the fracture and then immediately filling the cavity created by this balloon with quick-setting bone cement. The cement provides immediate stability to the spine, restoring its former shape and preventing the treated vertebra from collapsing again.
Minimally invasive techniques such as kyphoplasty use a combination of intra-operative fluoroscopy to provide pictures and advanced instruments to conduct the procedure. These small tools allow the surgeons to make smaller incisions–resulting in shorter operating time, faster recovery and less pain.
Kyphoplasty treats compression fractures, which most commonly occur in the spine as a result of osteoporosis or secondary to a tumor. A compression fracture can result when the progressive weakening of bone causes a vertebra to collapse on itself. This collapse shortens the spine, creating a “humpback,” and often causes chronic pain when the fallen vertebra pinches a spinal nerve.
Kyphoplasty is a quick, effective, and minimally invasive surgery. Typically, the surgeon can correct a fractured vertebra in less than an hour. If more vertebrae are involved, the procedure will accordingly take more time.
Kyphoplasty has two primary aims–to relieve the back pain associated with compression fractures, and to straighten and stabilize the spine. By surgically correcting the problem, kyphoplasty can eliminate the need for more traditional treatments of compression fractures: bracing, bed rest, and medication to reduce or relieve pain.
The results of kyphoplasty–the restoration of upright posture, height, and spinal stability and mobility, and more importantly, a dramatic reduction in back pain–are both immediate and long-lasting.