Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a spinal compression fracture.
Spinal compression fractures occur primarily in spinal vertebrae that have been weakened by osteoporosis. Compression fractures typically occur in the thoracic or lumbar region of the spine.
The goals of kyphoplasty are to reduce pain from the fracture, stabilize the vertebra, and restore the vertebra back to its normal height.
During the procedure, the patient lies face down on the operating table. Local anesthetic (numbing medication) and/or intravenous anesthesia is used to help keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. Dr. Michels makes a small, half-inch incision over the affected area.
Using X-ray guidance, Dr. Michels inserts a narrow tube through the pedicle into one side of the fractured vertebra. A balloon tamp is then inserted through the tube and into the fractured vertebra.
Once inside the vertebra, the balloon is inflated to create an open cavity inside the bone and to restore height to the collapsed vertebra. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving the new bone cavity behind.
A bone cement, is then injected into the cavity until it is full. The cement hardens quickly, creating an internal cast inside of the fractured vertebra.
The process may be repeated on the other side of the vertebral body to ensure uniformity and increase the chances of complete correction of the fracture deformity.
The incision is then closed with either a bandage or small suture. The patient stays on the operating table while the cement hardens, which usually takes about 5 minutes.
Most patients can go home the same day as the procedure.