Kyphoplasty | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty injects special cement into the vertebrae, with the added step of creating space for treatment with a balloon-like device (balloon vertebroplasty). Kyphoplasty can restore the height of a damaged vertebra and can also relieve pain.

As with vertebroplasty, the efficacy of kyphoplasty is the subject of debate in the medical community; you should discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Doctors may recommend kyphoplasty for vertebrae damaged by cancer or certain spinal fractures. In most cases, a weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) has caused the vertebrae to compress or collapse, causing pain or a stooped posture.

risks of kyphoplasty

Risks of kyphoplasty include:

  • infection

    • bleeding

      • increased back pain

        • tingling, numbness, or weakness due to nerve damage

          • allergic reactions to chemicals used with x-rays to help guide the doctor

            • cement leaks out of place

              You may face other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.

              how kyphoplasty works

              before the procedure:

              • Your doctor will examine you, possibly drawing blood for testing and using x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to locate any fractures.

                during the procedure:

                • An anesthesiologist will give you medicine through an IV to relax you and relieve your pain or put you to sleep.

                  • Guided by x-rays, your doctor will insert a needle through the skin and muscles of your back to the bone, then inflate a balloon to help return the vertebra to its normal shape.

                    • Your doctor will inject the cement while reviewing the x-rays to make sure it is in the right place.

                      • Your doctor will remove the needle, no stitches needed.

                        • The entire procedure will likely take less than an hour, although it may take longer if more vertebrae are treated.

                          after the procedure:

                          • You will spend some time in a recovery room. You could go home the same day, but your doctor may want you to stay overnight.

                            • You may be able to start walking an hour after the procedure. She may feel some pain where the needle was inserted in her back, but this does not last more than a few days. You may quickly notice that you have less pain than before your surgery.

                              • Talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid any activity after the procedure.

                                • Your doctor may suggest that you take certain vitamins, minerals, and medications to help strengthen your bones and prevent more spinal fractures.

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