FAQs on Kyphoplasty in Colorado
Kyphoplasty is an effective treatment used for correcting vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). The procedure relieves back pain, improves functional ability, and restores the spine’s normal bone height. In many cases, kyphoplasty corrects the deformity of the back caused by the VCFs.
What are vertebral compression fractures?
Vertebral compression fractures are the most common types of bone breaks in people with osteoporosis. They are also caused by osteolytic destruction secondary to bone cancer (malignancy). VCFs occur in 50% of women and 25% of men, usually during the 7th and 8th decades of life. Acute fractures often cause pain.
How is kyphoplasty done?
Kyphoplasty is done by restoring the collapsed vertebral body to natural height using a specialized bone tamp and inflatable balloon. After numbing the skin over the spine, a tiny incision is made. Under fluoroscopy or CT-guidance, the special probe is inserted into the bone, and the balloon is inflated. The inflatable balloon tamps are removed and medical grade acrylic bone cement is slowly injected through the access needle. Bone cement is then allowed to dry, and it hardens quickly and stabilizes the vertebral body. Once the repairs are made, the incision is closed with sutures.
Does kyphoplasty hurt?
The Colorado pain doctor usually performs kyphoplasty under general anesthesia, so you feel no pain and have no memory of the procedure. In addition, a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin, which offers post-operative pain relief. You will be given some medications to take afterward, so you will be comfortable.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Before the procedure, you need to notify the doctor of all your health problems and current medications. Certain blood thinning drugs must be held for a few days. The doctor may order more imaging tests, and you should bring your previous x-rays for him to view. Plan to stay overnight in the hospital, arrange to have someone drive you, and make plans for help around the house for a few days upon discharge. Additionally, do not eat/drink after midnight the night before your surgery.
What can I expect when I come to the hospital?
After you agree to the procedure, you fill out paperwork and sign a consent form. When you arrive at the medical facility, a nurse will have you change into a gown, and place an intravenous catheter in your hand. You will be positioned face-down on the table, and a nurse will clean your back and given you a sedative.
What happens after the kyphoplasty?
Right after kyphoplasty surgery, you are monitored in a recovery area for 2-3 hours. Some patients are permitted to go home, but many must stay overnight for observation. You can go the bathroom, but cannot bend, stoop, or do exercise. Your back will be sore, but this gradually improves over the next couple of weeks. Most patients report significant improvement in pain levels within 24 hours of their procedure.
Is kyphoplasty safe?
Complications occur in less than 1% of cases. The success of the procedure will depend on your doctor’s expertise, your health condition, and the severity of the fracture. To prevent blood clots after surgery, you will wear elastic stockings and move about your home.
What is the success rate of the kyphoplasty procedure?
According to clinical studies, 90% of patients report significant pain improvement and functional ability after the procedure. Kyphoplasty is a safe and effective means of correcting deformity and pain associated with VCF.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2017). Percutaneous Kyphoplasty For Vertebral Fractures Caused By Osteoporosis And Malignancy. Retrieved from: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/technology-assessments-details.aspx