Kyphoplasty is a treatment for pain associated with compression fractures of the vertebrae. In patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia, these fractures may occur after a minor injury, such as a fall. Vertebrae fractures can also occur in younger patients following major trauma such a car accident. Back pain following compression fractures is commonly occurs near the spinal column in the area of the fracture.
The kyphoplasty procedure involves the placement of a needle into the fractured bone with x-ray guidance to allow injection of cement. The cement is the same type used in total joint replacement surgeries, and it stabilizes the area of vertebral fracture.
Kyphoplasty is performed in an outpatient clinic setting.
Kyphoplasty usually takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on whether you have one or more spinal levels involved. It may also take longer if a level must be approached from both sides.
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are similar, but kyphoplasty has an advantage in that it allows for creation of a cavity in the bone first. This cavity is then filled allowing for spread of cement.
You will likely feel tightness or tenderness at the site, but your spine pain may be improved almost immediately.
Kyphoplasty is a one-time per level procedure under most circumstances, and the cement that is placed is permanent. Your relief will therefore be long-lasting.
More information about Vertebroplasty can be found on the Vertebroplasty Procedures page.