Kyphoplasty for compression fractures, Southlake, TX, the vertebrae are the bones that make up the vertebrae column or spine. The spine is your backbone that allows you to stand, walk, or bend. When the vertebral bone in your spine reduces or decreases with at least 15 to 20% in height due to fracture, this condition is known as a compression fracture.
Compression fractures can happen to any vertebrae located anywhere in the spine. However, they occur mostly in the upper back (thoracic spine), particularly in the lower vertebrae of the thoracic spine. Spinal fracture due to osteoporosis is also known as compression fracture, but can also be called a vertebral fracture.
Vertebral compression fractures can potentially cause acute back pain or chronic back pain. It could also lead to a back deformity known as dowager’s hump (abnormal hunching of the back). Severe cases can lead to changes in a patient’s self-image and inability to carry out daily activities.
What is a kyphoplasty procedure?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remedy vertebral compression fractures and relieve pain.
During a kyphoplasty procedure, you may be given a local or general anesthetic to prevent you from feeling pain or make you unconscious throughout the procedure. Your surgeon will then make a small incision in your back. A needle will then be placed through the incision into the vertebral compression fracture site with the use of X-ray guidance.
After the needle is placed in the right position, your surgeon will then place a small device known as a balloon tamp through the needle into the fractured vertebra. The balloon tamp will then be inflated to help restore vertebra height and create a cavity. When the balloon tamp is removed, it leaves a cavity. Your surgeon will then inject acrylic bone cement into the cavity to prevent it from collapsing again. The acrylic bone cement quickly hardens, which alleviates pain by strengthening and solidifying the damaged vertebra.
This procedure is an outpatient procedure and it takes less than an hour to be completed. You can go back home that same day. It helps to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Is kyphoplasty a major surgery?
No, Kyphoplasty is considered a minimally invasive surgery. It is an outpatient procedure that is most often performed using local or general anesthesia. Patients can go back home the same day after the procedure.
What is the success rate of kyphoplasty?
From a clinical trial of 350 back pain patients who underwent balloon kyphoplasty. The results found out that;
72% of the patients experienced improvements in back pain
59% of the patients experienced improvements in back function
58% of the patients experienced improvements in quality of life
Most of the patients experienced increased mobility
Most of the patients experienced an increased ability to self-manage activities of daily living
There were recorded reductions in the use of opioids for pain management
The results from the study confirm the effectiveness of kyphoplasty as an efficient treatment option for severe back pain and loss of back function in patients with vertebral compression fractures.
When should kyphoplasty be done?
Kyphoplasty is more likely to be successful if done within two months of when a compression fracture is diagnosed. If the compression fracture is more than 3 months, it is most likely that the fracture has already started to heal and it is unlikely to experience the vertebral height restoration normally associated with kyphoplasty.
Kyphoplasty restores vertebral height. Due to this reason, it is typically not recommended unless the front part of the vertebral body has collapsed at least 30% compared to the back of the vertebral body. If the vertebral body has collapsed less than 30%, a simpler vertebroplasty may be recommended. This is because stabilizing the fracture without restoring vertebral height may be sufficient.
Kyphoplasty is also not recommended if the vertebral body has collapsed more than 70%. If the vertebral body has collapsed more than 70%, a more extensive surgery may be needed.
How long does it take to heal after kyphoplasty?
Some patients experience immediate pain relief after the procedure. Some other patients may experience pain relief within two days. It takes within two to six weeks to completely heal after the procedure. During these times, patients can return to their normal daily activities but are advised to reduce or stop engaging in strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects.
What are the side effects of kyphoplasty?
Like all surgical procedures, there are certain risks and side effects that may occur during or after undergoing a kyphoplasty procedure. These include:
- Adverse reactions to the anesthetic used
- Bleeding where the needle penetrated the skin
- Nerve damage leading to numbness, weakness, or tingling
- Increased pain
- Spinal cord injury from the malpositioned instruments placed
- Nerve injury or spinal cord compression due to leaking out of the acrylic cement
- Allergic reaction to the solution used to see the balloon on the X-ray.
Is there pain after kyphoplasty?
Some patients may feel some soreness in their back at the site where the needle was inserted. This soreness usually lasts only for a few days. Some other patients have occasionally complained of persistent pain after the procedure. This persistent pain may be due to irritation of tissues involved in the procedure.
It is also likely due to underlying arthritis and degeneration of the spine rather than the procedure itself. Pain due to the procedure itself typically diminishes within two weeks after the procedure.
What should I avoid with a compression fracture?
If you have compression fracture, there are some things you should avoid. These include:
- Avoid high impact activities such as sports and exercises
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Avoid lifting heavy objects
- Avoid bending and twisting