Kyphoplasty – Spine Fracture Surgery

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 16, 2014

kyphoplastyKyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spine surgery used to repair vertebral fractures. It is similar, but not identical, to a vertebroplasy (for more on that procedure, read this blog). In this post we are going to delve into the kyphoplasy spine surgery procedure – what it entails, how it differs from a vertebroplasty, and when it can be beneficial to patients.

Kyphoplasty Procedure

Kyphoplasty is a spine surgery used to relieve pain caused by a fracture of the spinal vertebrae. The process of a kyphoplasty surgery is as follows:

  • The surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s back and guides a small tube through the incision to the fractured bone.
  • Then a balloon is inserted into the tube and inflated. This lifts the fractured bones into their natural position.
  • After the bones are elevated, the balloon is excised and the fractured area is filled with a quick-hardening cement-like product.
  • Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed.

The procedure takes about an hour (though it can go longer if there are multiple fractured vertebrae). It is usually done on an outpatient basis, though an overnight hospital stay may be necessary depending on the patient.

How does Kyphoplasty differ from Vertebroplasty?

If you read our previous post on vertebroplasy, a kyphoplasty likely sounds very similar. So what’s the difference?

Both procedures are common in vertebrae fractures and have a high success rate. The specific surgery used depends on the patient’s circumstances. For example, a kyphoplasty is generally thought to be the better procedure if performed within a month or two of the fracture. Additionally, kyphoplasty surgery is commonly used to fix spine fractures caused to osteoarthritis.

There are many factors that go into the procedure a spine surgeon recommends. Be sure to ask your surgeon to explain all of your options before making a decision to have surgery.

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