How is a Kyphoplasty Performed?

If you need a kyphoplasty, then your doctor may or may not choose to use general anesthesia. Because this procedure only requires the use of a very small incision, your doctor may use local anesthetics instead.

With the target area numbed, your doctor will make a tiny incision on your back (smaller than a half inch in length). This incision allows your doctor to insert a flexible scope into your back. Moreover, using an X-ray technique known as fluoroscopy will enable your doctor to perform this procedure free of error.

Next, your doctor will insert a 3-mm needle into the fractured vertebra through the side of the vertebral body. The needle contains a balloon that your doctor will then inflate. As the balloon expands, it restores the height of the collapsed vertebra. This step is crucial, because it relieves pressure on the sunken vertebra. Although highly similar in nature, the vertebroplasty neglects to follow this one step. Nevertheless, low stress on the spine ensures that the bone cement used during the next phase of this procedure will not spurt out under pressure.

After decreasing the pressure, your doctor will deflate and remove the balloon. A second needle will deliver a cement mixture, known as PMMA, into the vertebra. With the PMMA injected, all that remains is drying time. After the cement hardens, your doctor will apply bandages to the puncture wounds and suture the incision site.

Do I Qualify for a Kyphoplasty?

You may qualify for a kyphoplasty if you have had a spinal fracture that causes kyphosis, or a forward arching of the upper back. Other patients who may benefit from a kyphoplasty include patients who have certain types of spinal tumors or osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, this procedure is not for everyone. You may not qualify for a kyphoplasty if you have:

  • More than 75% of collapse in the front of your vertebra
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Spine Infections
  • Allergies to PMMA

To find out if you qualify for a kyphoplasty, don’t wait to contact the Lowenstein team today! When it comes to fixing spinal fractures, prompt treatment is key. For award-winning outcomes from a leader in his field, contact a spine surgeon whom you can trust today. Contact Dr. Jason Lowenstein, MD!