Kyphoplasty – An Effective Treatment for Spinal Compression Fractures


Spinal compression fractures can be painful, and in some cases, the pain can be so severe that it begins to impact your ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. This is because a fracture or break in the vertebrae can cause bone fragments to rub against each other. Fortunately, minimally invasive surgical procedures such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are an effective solution to this problem. Typically performed together, these procedures can eliminate painful symptoms and improve overall mobility when other treatment measures are unable to provide relief. Both procedures are outpatient where the patient will go home the same day.

Why is Kyphoplasty Needed?

The main purpose for a kyphoplasty procedure is to relieve pain caused by a spinal compression fracture. This type of fracture usually occurs when the bony structure in the spine collapses, resulting in pain, loss of height and other deformities. A doctor may recommend the procedure for some of the following reasons:

  • Relieves pain and restores damaged vertebrae’s height.
  • May be effective for repairing cancer-damaged vertebrae and certain spinal fractures.
  • Treats severe pain that has not responded to non-surgical treatment.
  • Helps to correct bone deformities.

What to Expect from a Kyphoplasty Procedure

Kyphoplasty can be an effective solution for individuals with weakened bones as a result of conditions like osteoporosis or cancer. Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during and after surgery:

  • Before the Procedure: You may be advised to stop taking any medications that make it harder for your blood to clot, in addition to avoiding eating and drinking anything several hours before your procedure. Various diagnostic tests including a blood test may be ordered, in addition to an x-ray or MRI to help the doctor locate the fractures.
  • During the Procedure: Depending on each case, you may have local or a general anesthetic. Using an x-ray image as a guide, the first step of the procedure involves the surgeon inserting a needle into the spine. A small, medical device called a balloon tamp is then placed through the needle and inserted into the affected vertebrae. The balloon tamp will be inflated to help restore height, and when it’s removed, the cavity will be filled with acrylic bone cement to keep the spinal structure intact.
  • After the Procedure: Following the procedure you may spend some time in the recovery room, but you should be able to go home on the same day unless your doctor wants to observe you overnight. It is normal to feel some soreness where the needle was inserted but it shouldn’t last more than a few days. Your doctor may recommend avoiding certain activities while you recover and suggest taking certain supplements to strengthen your bones and prevent new fractures.

What are the Benefits of Kyphoplasty?

While spinal compression fractures are linked to higher morbidity rates, medical advancements have made it possible for doctors to perform corrective surgery via minimally invasive techniques. This helps doctors achieve successful results that would have otherwise required a larger operation in the past. Kyphoplasty procedures are performed under moderate sedation rather than general anesthesia. Some other benefits of a kyphoplasty procedure may include:

  • Provides pain relief and significantly improves spinal support function.
  • Reduces the need for patients to depend on pain relievers and promotes a more mobile lifestyle.
  • In most cases, this is an outpatient procedure and patients can generally resume normal activities within a day of surgery.

Before considering kyphoplasty to treat a spinal compression fracture, consult the experienced team from Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic. We can help you assess the benefits and risks involved with this type of surgery and help you determine the right solution for your condition. Dr. Adam Lewis has performed over 4000 kyphoplasty procedures since the procedure was developed in 2000.

Contact us today to learn more about kyphoplasty or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.