What is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed to treat painful compression fractures of the spine resulting from osteoporosis or a tumor. It is not used for those fractures that can heal on their own. This percutanuous procedure is also used to reduce pain and functional disability due to vertebral fractures occurred by osteoporosis. It works by stabilizing fractured bone by using a cement like substance. This may lead to reduction of the spinal deformity caused by the fracture as well as reduction of symptoms such as pain or numbness, thus increasing the quality of life of patients.
Who is a Candidate for Kyphoplasty?
Patients with compression fractures of the spine leading to reduced vertebral height can be treated by this method. Height restoration is better achieved when the procedure is carried out within eight weeks of occurrence of the fracture, and delay may cause further deformity of the spine and reduce the chances of a successful kyphoplasty procedure.
How does Kyphoplasty work?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure. Prior the procedure routine blood panels are done to assess the general fitness of the patient. After that, one of our neurologists uses MRI and/or an X-ray to locate the exact position of the vertebral fracture. During surgery, a small incision is made into the patients back for inserting a narrow tube. The tube is inserted into the correct position of the involved vertebra through a guided imaging technique called fluoroscopy, which insures the accuracy of the procedure. After this, a balloon is inserted through the tube into the vertebrae, and inflated carefully using X-ray images. Inflating the balloon elevates the fracture which brings the pieces into a normal position, and also makes the soft inner bone dense creating cavity inside vertebrae. The balloon is then removed with no stitches and the cavity is filled under low pressure with a cement like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). Once the cement like material is inserted into the fractured vertebra it becomes hard making the broken bone stable.
The procedure takes about one hour for each vertebra and patients may spend one day in the hospital.
Benefits of Kyphoplasty Therapy
The main goals of this procedure are to eliminate back pain, avoiding an increase in spinal deformation, prevention of further collapse of fracture and restoration of normal spinal alignment. In a recent study 96.9% of patients exhibited significant and immediate pain improvement after having kyphoplasty treatment. It has been found that kyphoplasty treatment leads to sustained reduction in back pain, and as well as significant improvement in their mobility and quality of life. Maintenance of a sustained vertebral body height following this procedure has also been noted.
What are the Risks for Kyphoplasty?
Complications related to Kyphoplasty are relatively limited as it is an imaging technique based surgical procedure. In rare instances spinal cord injury or nerve damage may occur due to penetration of needle in the back of the patients. Leakage of the cement into vein may cause neurological symptoms such as weakness and numbness in some cases. Solution used to see the X-ray image may also cause allergic reactions.
What to expect after Kyphoplasty?
In some patients some degree of pain relief or increased functionality might be noticed soon after the treatment. Further improvement of the functionalities will be gradually noted in the upcoming days following the procedure. Patients can return to their normal activities, excluding strenuous activities or heavy lifting which should be avoided, after a few weeks. Our neurologists will suggest effective post operative care along with certain minerals and vitamins to prevent further spinal fractures.
Meet Our Neurologists
At Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles our neurologists specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of conditions where Kyphoplasty is used to treat compression fractures of the spine resulting from osteoporosis or a tumor. Dr. Jordan and Dr. O’Connor both diagnose and treat patients with conditions where Kyphoplasty may be used to reduce pain or increase functional ability due to vertebral fractures occurred by osteoporosis. If you have been diagnosed with a compression fracture of the spine or have fractures of the spine caused by osteoporosis schedule an appointment with one of our neurologists to determine if you are a candidate for Kyphoplasty by calling 310-829-5968.