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Kyphoplasty: How the Surgical Procedure Works

November 17, 2015

kyphosis diagram

Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin offers patients a chance at relief and wellness. When back or neck pain affect your quality of life, our team of spine specialists can recommend various non-invasive treatments as well as advanced spine surgery options to help alleviate pain and restore mobility.

Kyphoplasty is a good option to address certain kinds of spinal fractures. Let's go into more detail about it right now.

What Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a type of surgical procedure that is performed to treat vertebrae that has collapsed or been injured. It's an ideal option to address spinal compression and the various kinds of pain and discomfort associated with that particular kind of spinal injury/fracture. Thanks to kyphoplasty, the height of the vertebrae can be restored, addressing the issue directly.

How Does Kyphoplasty Work?

One of the keys of kyphoplasty is the use of a special material similar in many ways to cement. This material is called polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA. When this material hardens, it stabilizes the fractured bone and improves overall wellness.

Ideal Candidates for Kyphoplasty

The best candidates for kyphoplasty are people who have experienced a spinal injury such as a fracture that has resulted in a change to the height of the spine. A spinal cord specialist may recommend kyphoplasty to treat fractures and compression caused by osteoporosis as well as vertebrae that have been damaged by cancer and other kinds of health conditions.

As with all surgeries, it's important that patients understand all of the risks and benefits involved and have realistic expectations about what it can achieve. You will receive a full run down of these matters during the consultation process.

Potential Risks of Kyphoplasty

Some of the potential risks of kyphoplasty include the following:

  • Post-surgical infection
  • Bleeding
  • An increase in back pain
  • Allergic reactions to anesthetic and other materials
  • Weakness in the spine or limbs

Keep in mind that we will strive to reduce the possibility of all complications during any type of surgical procedure.

What to Expect During the Kyphoplasty Procedure

During the kyphoplasty procedure, a small incision is made in the area of the back where the damaged vertebrae is located. Through this incision, a small surgical balloon is inserted, positioned, and inflated in order to elevate the fractured vertebrae. The PMMA is injected into this cavity, where is rapidly hardens to help stabilize the vertebrae into position.

Recovering from Kyphoplasty

Patients will be able to return home after their surgery. All strenuous physical activities should be avoided for several weeks in order to ensure proper healing. Follow-up visits with your back specialist will help ensure that you are recovering properly.

For some patients, they may notice immediate relief of back pain. For other patients, it may take a few days before the benefits of kyphoplasty become apparent.

How Effective Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is highly effective at addressing pain related to spinal fractures. For optimal results, it should be performed within two months of the spinal fracture. You can discuss these matters with your general practitioner or spinal specialist during a consultation.

Contact Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

For more information about kyphoplasty and how it can help you experience restored mobility and total wellness, be sure to contact our team of orthopedic surgeons today. All of the doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin look forward to your visit and helping you experience reduced pain and better overall wellness.