A kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spine surgery that is used to treat vertebral compression fractures. The procedure has become increasingly popular because it provides patients who do not respond to nonsurgical treatments with a minimally invasive, rather than open, surgical solution.
The minimally invasive approach benefits patients because:
- Surgical time is decreased
- Less postoperative pain is experienced
- Recovery is faster
Patients who undergo a kyphoplasty may be allowed to return home the day of their surgery. As healing occurs over the course of several weeks, patients can look forward to significant improvements in pain levels, an increased ability to perform day-to-day activities, and little to no visible scarring.
Conditions Treated by Kyphoplasty
A kyphoplasty is ideal for patients who are suffering from vertebral compression fractures caused by injuries, bone diseases (most commonly osteoporosis), or impaired bone healing. Pain is the most common and problematic symptom associated with compression fractures. When compression fractures and the pain associated with them do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options such as rest, activity modification, pain/anti-inflammatory medications, and bracing, a kyphoplasty may be recommended. Usually, non-smoking patients who are in good medical condition are candidates for the procedure.
Benefits of Kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty has been shown to achieve restoration of vertebral body height and correction of vertebral body deformity. Additional benefits include:
- Significant and sustained reduction in back pain
- Sustained vertebral body height restoration
- Significant and sustained improvement in quality of life
- Significant and sustained improvement in mobility
- Significant and sustained improvement in ability to perform activities of daily living
- Significant reduction in number of days per month that a patient remains in bed due to back pain
- Significant and sustained reduction in number of days per month when pain interferes with daily activities such as walking, hobbies, and work
A kyphoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia that is administered and monitored by a board certified anesthesiologist. Once the patient is comfortably sedated or asleep and can not feel any pain, the procedure is performed through the following steps:
- Two small incisions are made. Two incisions that may be as small as ½ an inch in length are made over the fractured vertebrae.
- The fracture is accessed. The surgeon uses x-ray guidance to insert special surgical instruments known as a cannula and a trocar through the incisions and into the fracture site.
- Lost vertebral height is restored. A tiny balloon is placed into the fractured area and inflated to elevate the vertebral body.
- The fracture is stabilized. Biological bone cement is injected into the fracture and quickly hardens.
After the surgeon is pleased with the procedure, the incisions are closed using special sutures. A sterile dressing and a bandage are placed over the tiny wounds. The patient is brought to recovery where they are monitored by post-surgical medical staff. In many cases, the patient may return home after the effects of surgical anesthesia wear off and pain is controlled.
Numerous studies have documented favorable treatment outcomes in kyphoplasty patients, with a follow-up of at least 2 years.
If you have questions about spinal stenosis or the minimally invasive spine procedures offered by DISC of Louisiana, please contact us to schedule an evaluation at one of our clinics across the south Louisiana region.
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