Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive in-office procedure used to treat pain caused by a compression fracture in the spine.

1 - Kyphoplasty

1. What is a vertebral compression fracture?

A vertebral body is part of the spinal column (see picture below). A compression fracture is partial or total collapse of the vertebral body. It can be due to trauma or weakening of the bone of the vertebral body (as in osteoporosis or cancer). Vertebral compression fractures can lead to back pain, height loss, and impairment of mobility and quality of life.

2. What treatments are available for vertebral compression fracture?

Treatment varies based on several factors, including onset of the fracture (new/acute or old/chronic). It also depends on several other patient-specific factors. For example, if there is instability or new neurologic symptoms (i.e. new weakness), surgery may be recommended. If not, initial treatment typically consists of analgesics, bracing, and/or physical therapy. If pain persists, kyphoplasty may be a treatment option. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, image-guided therapy that is used to decrease acute pain associated with a vertebral compression fracture.

Regardless of the above-mentioned treatments, diagnosis and treatment of underlying cause of the vertebral compression fracture (i.e. osteoporosis) is very important in the prevention of future compression fractures.

3. The Procedure

You will be positioned on your abdomen. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure. The injection site will be washed with a sterile cleaning solution. X-ray images will be taken of your spine to determine the correct placement of the needle for the injection.

Local anesthetic (“numbing” medication) will be injected into the skin. An instrument will then be inserted through a small incision and guided into the vertebral body using x-ray images. A balloon will then be inflated in the vertebral body to help restore the height of the vertebral body. The balloon will be removed and cement will be inserted into the vertebral body. After the cement hardens, all the instruments will be removed. The small incisions will then be covered with a sterile dressing.

4. Before the Procedure

It is important that you follow all pre-procedure instructions given to you at your clinic visit; if not, your procedure may be canceled.

5. After the Procedure

You will remain in the recovery room for observation; we will monitor your vital signs during this time. The staff will give you discharge instructions.