Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are two minimally invasive procedures that treat compression fractures of the spine. Such fractures occur in the bony vertebrae of the spine.
Dignity Health performs vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty in Arizona, as part of our neurology services offered through Barrow Neurological Institute. To learn more, or to request an appointment, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health.
Why Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty are Performed
Compression fractures of the spine are painful and limit how the spine moves and works. Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can relieve pain and restore function. Your health care provider may recommend kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty if you have severe, disabling back pain that has lasted longer than two months and has not improved with bed rest, pain medications, or physical therapy.
Spine surgeons use kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty to treat spinal compression fractures caused by:
What to Expect at Dignity Health
During the procedure, you will be positioned face down on a table, so the medical team can easily work on your back. You may have an option of either general anesthesia, which puts you in a deep sleep, or regional anesthesia, which numbs you so you won’t feel anything in the surgical area but you’ll be awake. You will likely have an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm so the team can give you medication to help you relax.
The surgeon inserts a needle through the skin and into the affected vertebra of the spine using imaging scans to guide the placement. For vertebroplasty, the surgeon injects a special cement through the needle and into the bone. The cement binds the broken bone fragments together.
For kyphoplasty, the surgeon threads a deflated balloon through the needle to the affected area and then inflates it. The space created by the balloon is then filled with the cement. Another name for this procedure is balloon kyphoplasty. The procedure typically takes about an hour.
Recovery After Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty
Most people go home soon after kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. If you have general anesthesia, you will need to stay at a Dignity Health hospital or surgery center a few hours longer than if you have local anesthesia. Expect to rest for about 24 hours after the procedure. After that, you can gradually resume your usual activities. Your doctor will likely recommend you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for at least six weeks.
You will have a bandage on your back at the insertion site. Keep this bandage clean and dry for 48 hours.
You may feel some soreness at the insertion site. You can apply ice to the area for 15 minutes at a time to relieve discomfort. Procedure-related pain typically goes away in two or three days, and most people experience significant relief of their back pain. Most people who undergo kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are much more active and comfortable after healing than before the procedure.
Dignity Health provides complete neurological care and minimally invasive procedures, such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, in Arizona.