What is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a procedure in which a device the diameter of a paper hole punch is inserted down into the vertebral body in the spine in order to inject cement to stabilize a vertebral compression fracture or VCF. VCF’s usually occur in patients older than 65 from osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones. This weakening of the bones makes the spine more fragile and prone for such fractures. The goal of the kyphoplasty is 2 fold: to stabilize the fracture and prevent worsening compression of the vertebral body as well as to treat the pain associated with the VCF which can become chronic if not treated early.
What are the pre-requisites in order to perform this procedure?
You may need to stop taking certain medications several days before the procedure, especially anticoagulant or “blood thinning” medications, as well as other prescription and/or over-the-counter medications, including herbal and vitamin supplements.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure can take about 1 hour.
Will the procedure hurt?
You will be under IV sedation similar to a colonoscopy but not general anesthesia. Numbing medicine is also used.
What should I expect after the procedure and what are the side effects?
Pain relief may be immediate or can take a few days to notice relief. 90% of people experience pain relief the very next day. There are no side effects but you may experience some pain or discomfort from the procedure for a week or so.
What should I do after the procedure?
You will return to the office between 7-14 days for a post-op check. Some localized tenderness may be experienced for a couple of days after the procedure. Using an ice pack with a barrier such as a towel between the skin and ice, three or four times a day will help this. You may take your prescribed pain medications after the injection.