What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to restore and repair a collapsed spinal vertebra. Your vertebrae may collapse after a traumatic injury or if you have a spinal tumor or infection. However, most kyphoplasty procedures are done to treat vertebral compression fractures.

Vertebral compression fractures occur when osteoporosis weakens the spinal bones. As a result, the vertebrae can’t sustain the weight and movement they usually support and one or more collapse under the pressure.

Osteoporosis (the loss of bone) leads to such brittle, weak vertebrae that a compression fracture occurs with very little force. The bones may suddenly collapse from a forceful, prolonged cough or after twisting your spine.

What symptoms indicate I need kyphoplasty?

Vertebral compression fractures usually affect your middle and upper back (thoracic spine) but could occur in your lower back (lumbar spine). 

After an osteoporotic vertebral fracture, you may not have much pain, or you may feel better with rest. You could also experience:

  • Sudden back pain
  • Pain that gradually worsens
  • Difficulty moving 
  • Pain that’s worse when walking
  • Pain that feels better when lying down
  • Round-back deformity (kyphosis)

When a vertebra collapses due to a compression fracture, the front part of the bone breaks down while the back stays the same height. This creates a wedge-like shape.

If two or more adjacent vertebrae collapse, their wedge-like shapes combine to cause a rounded shape in your upper back. This deformity is called kyphosis.

What happens during kyphoplasty?

Your provider at Pain Management Associates LLC uses real-time X-ray imaging to view your spine and guide a hollow needle through your skin and into the vertebra. They use the needle to inflate a balloon, which restores the bone’s natural height and creates an open area in the center of the vertebra.

After removing the balloon, your provider injects bone cement. The cement fills the space, drying and hardening quickly. The cement restores the vertebra’s normal shape and strength. You regain spinal stability, and your pain disappears.

When should I have kyphoplasty?

It’s important not to wait too long to seek help at Pain Management Associates LLC. You can’t have a kyphoplasty procedure if the vertebra heals while in a collapsed position. 

If you have sudden back pain, especially if it affects your middle back, call Pain Management Associates LLC or request an appointment online today.