What is kyphoplasty and who can benefit from it?
Before discussing Kyphoplasty and exactly what it is, we need to first understand the spine and some conditions that can occur with it.
Anatomy of the spine
Our spine is made up of 33 bones called the vertebrae. These are separated by intervertebral discs. The spine has several jobs, but the main ones are to support us and allow movement. The vertebrae themselves all share a basic common structure. They have an anterior vertebral body and a posterior vertebral arch. The part we are interested in is the body part. This is essentially the weight-bearing component.
Sometimes referred to as vertebral body compression fractures, this is where there is a fracture through to the vertebrae. This may occur through trauma or disease. The main cause, however, is osteoporosis. Although studies have shown that one out of every two women and one out of every five men will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis, it remains a much under-diagnosed condition. Some call it the “silent disease “ as many people are unaware they have it until that first fracture.
If someone has a spinal fracture and it is left untreated, they may develop “kyphosis “. This is when someone’s back can become rounded and humplike.
When you have a compression fracture, your goal is most likely to
- ease the pain;
- heal the fracture; and
- treat the root cause of the fracture and pain.
Many people will not actually need surgery. This is because fractures can often heal themselves within approximately 3 months. While that is happening, you may be advised about a variety of accompanying treatments.
ideally anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, a hormone replacement called Calcitonin, may help ease the pain.
you need to find that happy medium of not overdoing things but also maintaining some activity. Heavy lifting and high impact sport may need to be avoided.
may be beneficial once the fracture is starting to heal itself. Specific exercises to strengthen your back may be beneficial.
Another conservative treatment is wearing a brace. This rigid frame can take the pressure off the damaged area allowing the healing process to continue.
If however, the conservative treatments don’t allow the bone to heal then surgery may be needed.
Surgery as a treatment option: Kyphoplasty
There are 2 types of surgery to repair a vertebral fracture. First, there is vertebroplasty, whereby bone cement is injected into the backbone. Second, there is kyphoplasty, also known as vertebral augmentation. Kyphoplasty was first performed in 1998. There have been several studies into its success over recent years. The two most referred to are the Kaviar study in 2018 and the Evolve study in 2019.
This procedure involves using a balloon to restore the vertebral height and is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure. It is used to treat painful, acute vertebral compression fractures. The procedure may be done under a general anaesthetic or a mixture of oral sedation with local anaesthesia. The patient is positioned face down (prone) and a small incision is made into their back. The doctor then places a narrow tube into this incision. Subsequently, using fluoroscopy, which is an x-ray beam and a fluorescent screen, the doctor steers the tube to the correct position.
Once the tube tip is by the fracture site, they insert a special balloon through the tube into the vertebrae. They then carefully inflate it. This elevates the fracture, returning it to a more normal position. It also compacts the inner bone thus creating a cavity. Then the balloon is removed and using special low-pressure instruments they can inject a cement like material (Polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA) into the space. Once injected into position the material hardens very quickly and helps to stabilize the bone.
How long does Kyphoplasty procedure take?
Kypthoplasty takes approximately 20-30 minutes per vertebra involved. This procedure is typically done in the office. This will depend on the length of the procedure and the patient’s own medical history.
Our highly-qualified orthopedics doctors perform Kyphoplasty procedure in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people we serve and we do this by making orthopedic care as convenient as possible.
What is the recovery time after Kyphoplasty surgery?
It is natural to want to get back to your regular activities as soon as possible. The benefit of kyphoplasty is that recovery time is quite quick. You may experience some soreness in your back for a day or two. Putting an icepack on the area may bring about relief. (Note: Please remember to place the ice into something first to avoid an ice-burn). It is also often recommended to use anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or diclofenac.
Your doctor may encourage you to go back to normal activities as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. However, you should avoid intense exercise and heavy lifting for at least 3 to 4 weeks.
More about Office-Based Kyphoplasty here!
Kyphoplasty surgery Boca Raton & Boynton Beach: About Orthopaedic Surgery Associates
Orthopaedic Surgery Associates is a state-of-the-art orthopedic practice in Palm Beach County, Florida. The practice offers a team of multi-speciality orthopaedic surgeons and specialists and a variety of procedures to treat and cure orthopedic injuries and conditions, including kyphoplasty surgery in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.