Kyphoplasty is a minimally-invasive treatment for compression fractures of the spine. The most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis. The traditional treatment for fractures within a vertebral body (one of bones of the spine) caused by osteoporosis has included pain medication, bed rest, and bracing.
Kyphoplasty offers immediate pain relief and stabilization of the vertebral body. It is also effective in treating pathologic compression fractures. Compression fractures of a vertebral body not only cause pain but also cause the spine to shorten and fall forward. Many people develop a hump back posture deformity after a compression fracture.
The kyphoplasty procedure uses a balloon to straighten the fractured area of the vertebral body. Once this is achieved, bone cement is injected into this newly formed space to obtain immediate stabilization and maintenance of the upright posture. At the conclusion of the procedure, the spine is better aligned and stabilized and pain is dramatically relieved. Kyphoplasty is done through a quarter-inch incision. Small tubes are placed into the fracture with x-ray guidance.
The procedure takes about 45 minutes per fractured vertebra. Blood loss is minimal and patients usually leave the hospital the following day.