What is a Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures, which occur when a vertebra in the spine collapses or becomes compressed due to factors such as osteoporosis or trauma. This procedure involves the use of specialized balloons and bone cement to restore the height of the fractured vertebra and stabilize it.
How Does a Kyphoplasty Work?
- Patient Positioning: The patient lies face down on the operating table.
- Local Anesthesia: The area over the fractured vertebra is numbed with local anesthesia.
- Balloon Insertion: A small incision is made, and a special balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra and inflated to create a cavity.
- Cement Injection: Once the cavity is created, bone cement (a medical-grade polymer) is injected into the space to stabilize the fractured vertebra and restore its height.
- Cavity Creation: The cement hardens quickly, providing immediate stability and pain relief.
What are the Benefits of a Kyphoplasty?
- Pain Relief: Kyphoplasty can significantly reduce pain associated with vertebral compression fractures, often providing rapid relief.
- Restored Vertebral Height: The procedure helps restore the height of the fractured vertebra, improving spinal alignment and reducing deformity.
- Improved Mobility: Pain reduction and restored vertebral height can lead to improved mobility and quality of life.
What is the Risk of a Kyphoplasty?
- As with any procedure, there are potential risks, including infection, cement leakage, nerve injury, and adverse reactions to anesthesia or cement.
- Kyphoplasty is not suitable for all types of fractures, and a thorough evaluation is required to determine candidacy.
What Does Recovery From a Kyphoplasty Look Like?
- Kyphoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and most patients can return home the same day.
- Patients may experience some soreness at the incision site, but pain relief from the fracture is often immediate.
Kyphoplasty is considered an effective and minimally invasive option for treating vertebral compression fractures, particularly when conservative treatments have not provided sufficient relief. However, the decision to undergo kyphoplasty should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider, such as an orthopedic surgeon or interventional radiologist, who can evaluate the individual’s specific condition, symptoms, and needs. Thoroughly discussing potential benefits, risks, and alternatives is essential before proceeding with the procedure.
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