Kyphoplasty, similar to vertebrosplasty, refers to a minimally invasive surgery, which is used for treating vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. These kinds of fractures could provide immense pain to the spine and is most commonly caused by spinal tumors, osteoporosis and traumatic injury. It involves injecting special cement into the vertebrae by creating extra space with a balloon like device.
Who are the right candidates for Kyphoplasty surgery?
The procedure isn’t the right treatment option for deformity of the spine, and certain patients’ osteoporosis may also not be the right candidates. Kyphoplasty helps patients who experience severe pain in the spine caused from fractures. The surgery must be performed within 8 weeks of the occurrence of the fracture.
The surgery involves premedical check up where the doctor will examine your overall health conditions through blood tests, X-rays and MRI of the fractures. Once it is determined that Kyphoplasty surgery is the possible treatment for you.
General anesthesia will be given to you to relax your muscles and put you to sleep. Then, with the help of X-ray, the doctor will insert a needle into your skin to the backbone muscles, which infiltrate a balloon like device to aid the vertebra regain its actual height and shape. The X-rays will guide the doctor to inject the cement to fit the device into right place. Once done, the needle will be removed and the gap will be closed with stitches.
The surgery usually takes an hour to complete and after the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room where other tests will be performed to see how your vital signs are working.
Risks and complications
Every surgery involve some temporary or permanent risks, however, chances of it are very rare. Kyphoplasty surgery too possesses some threats, which are:
- Increased pain, which is very rare
- Numbness, weakness and tingling due to nerve damage
- Common anesthesia complications
- Allergic reaction to chemicals
- Cement leaking
- Dislocation of the device
These risks may vary from patient to patient, hence make sure you discuss about your medical condition and current medications taken prior to the operation.
Once the surgery is done and you are moved to recovery room for health check up, you can go home the same day, if you are feeling good. However, it is recommended to stay overnight, just to be sure.
You will be encouraged to walk on your own soon after the surgery. You may experience soreness to the surgical site, but it won’t last only for a day or two.
There will be dramatic change in your pain, which is most likely to be in positive way. If not, and you begin experiencing increased pain -notify the doctor immediately.
You will be guided what exercise to perform and what diet to follow to regain strength quickly.
It is possible that your doctor may recommend some vitamins and mineral prescriptions to strengthen your bones and prevent additional fractures.