Spinal compression fractures occur primarily in spinal vertebrae that have been weakened by osteoporosis. Compression fractures typically occur in the thoracic region of the spine, which includes the T1 through T12 vertebrae, but may also occur in the lumbar spine, or L1 through L5. )
The goals of kyphoplasty are to reduce pain from the fracture, stabilize the vertebra, and restore the vertebra back to its normal height. )
In the procedure, the patient lies face down on the operating table. The surgeon makes a small, half-inch incision over the affected area. )
Using X-ray guidance, the surgeon inserts a narrow tube through the pedicle into one side of the fractured vertebra. In balloon kyphoplasty, a balloon tamp is then inserted through the tube and into the fractured vertebra. )
Once inside the vertebra, the balloon tamp is inflated to create an open cavity inside the bone and to restore height to the collapsed vertebra. The surgeon then deflates and removes the balloon tamp from the vertebra, leaving the new bone cavity behind. )
A pasty compound called PMMA, a type of bone cement, is injected into the cavity until it is full. The cement hardens quickly, creating an internal cast inside of the fractured vertebra. )
The process may be repeated on the other side of the vertebral body to ensure uniformity and increase the chances of complete deformity correction. )
In other forms of kyphoplasty, other surgical approaches for creating the cavity may be used, such as a net or ball. )
The surgeon then closes the incision. The patient stays on the operating table while the cement hardens, which usually takes about 5 minutes. )
Most patients can go home the same day as the procedure. )
You’ll need someone to drive you home following the kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty. You can return to normal activities, but try to avoid hard effort like heavy lifting for at least six weeks.
You might feel pain relief right away, or it might take a few days. Pain caused by the procedure itself should be gone within two to three days.
Keep the bandage on for two days. Take showers instead of baths. Listen to any other instructions from your healthcare provider.
After the bone cement is inserted into the vertebra (vertebroplasty), 75% of patients are active again. You might be symptom free and you won’t have to do physical therapy or rehabilitation.