What is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to help correct bone deformity and relieve pain associated with spinal compression fractures. A compression fracture or a break in one of your vertebra can be painful.

It can be difficult to move freely because a break can result in the bone fragments rubbing against each other. Surgery can help treat such fractures. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can often be done without a hospital stay.

During the procedure:

  • A tube is inserted through a half inch cut in the back into the damaged vertebrae. X-rays help ensure the accuracy of the procedure.
  • A thin catheter tube -- with a balloon at the tip -- is guided into the vertebra.
  • The balloon is inflated to create a cavity in which liquid bone cement is injected.
  • The balloon is then deflated and removed, and bone cement is injected into the cavity.
  • The cement mixture hardens in about 10 minutes.

What Happens During the Kyphoplasty?

Because kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are surgical procedures, your doctor will probably order some blood tests before the day of your surgery. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI scan will help your surgeon see the area or areas that need repair.

In preparation, an intravenous line (IV) will be placed in a vein in your arm to deliver anesthesia. You may also receive pain and anti-nausea medications, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. You’ll probably also be connected to heart, pulse, and blood pressure monitors.

Recovery After Kyphoplasty

Following the procedure, you’ll probably stay in a recovery room for a short time. You may be encouraged to get up and walk within an hour of the procedure. Some soreness is to be expected.

Your doctor will advise you when you can resume normal activities and if you should take any bone-strengthening supplements or medications. You’ll probably be asked to schedule a follow-up visit to check your progress.