Spinal compression fractures are caused by conditions like cancer and osteoporosis that weaken the bones in your spine. They are very painful and can make the spine unstable. During kyphoplasty, the surgeon inserts a needle into your spine bone and then uses X-rays to place a balloon-like device inside the broken vertebra. The doctor then fills it with bone cement to stabilize the spine and help relieve pain.
How It Works
Like a stack of bricks, your spine is made of vertebrae (bones that make up the back) that support each other. When one vertebra collapses or compression fractures, it can weaken the bones above and below it, causing pain and potentially leading to other health issues, such as numbness and tingling in the legs or loss of bowel and bladder control.
The kyphoplasty Jacksonville, FL, procedure is done under local or general anesthesia and usually lasts less than an hour. You are positioned on the operative table, and the doctor uses real-time X-ray imaging to guide a needle through your skin and back muscles into the affected vertebra. Then, a medical balloon is inserted and inflated to return the fractured vertebra to its average height.
After the balloon is deflated, bone cement is injected through the needle and into your spine. Once the cement has hardened, the doctor removes the needle and covers the opening in your skin with a bandage or star strip. Most patients can return home shortly after the procedure and resume regular activities but should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting.
The procedure takes less than an hour, though it might take longer if more than one vertebra is treated. You lie on the operative table and are given medicine through an IV to relax or put you to sleep. After cleaning and prepping your back, the doctor puts a thin tube (cannula) through a needle in your skin and muscle into the fractured vertebrae.
The doctor uses an X-ray and real-time fluoroscopy to guide the cannula into place inside the bone. Once the cannula is in place, the doctor inserts a small balloon-like device into the vertebrae. It is inflated to reduce the fractured vertebrae’s abnormally wedged shape and helps restore vertebral body height, which relieves pain.
Once the balloon is removed, the doctor injects a cement-like material into the space through the cannula. The material hardens quickly to repair the vertebral body fracture and prevent future fractures. Most people go home the same day. You might need to stay overnight if the doctor advises it. You might feel a bit sore in the area where the needles were inserted, but this usually doesn’t last long.
Everyone’s recovery process looks slightly different but generally safe and quick. Patients might feel some soreness in the spot where the needle went in, but an ice pack and over-the-counter pain medicine can help. Under anesthesia, a doctor inserts a thin surgical instrument through the skin and back muscles and into the spine bone.
He then inflates a balloon that helps the spine vertebra regain its standard shape. Next, he injects a cement-like substance through the needle while checking X-ray images. This helps the fractured spine return to its proper height, relieves pain, and stops the condition from worsening.
Many patients find their pain diminishes within 48 hours of the procedure. Some patients go home immediately, while others stay in a hospital overnight. After you’re released, physical therapy focuses on improving strength and range of motion in the back and legs. It also teaches you to balance, preventing falls that could lead to additional compression fractures.
Rather than waiting for the fractured spine to heal with nonoperative treatments, patients with these types of fractures can benefit from kyphoplasty, which reforms the bones in your spine and alleviates pain. This procedure is also designed to help prevent further damage to the spinal nerves by correcting a deformity called kyphosis.
Before surgery, our doctors meet with you to evaluate your medical history and complete a physical exam. They may order diagnostic tests to confirm your diagnosis. Once you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small skin incision and then inserts a hollow needle that contains a balloon-like device into the collapsed vertebra under X-ray guidance.
The balloon inflates and creates a space the surgeon fills with bone cement. The cement-like mixture sets in a few minutes and provides immediate support for the bone. After the procedure, you will be placed in a recovery room where our staff will monitor your progress until the effects of the anesthesia wear off.