Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for patients immobilized by the painful vertebral body compression fractures associated with osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty can alleviate up to 90% of the pain caused by compression fractures. In addition to relieving pain, kyphoplasty can also stabilize the fracture, restore height, and reduce deformity.
Kyphoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia. Using image guidance x-rays, two small incisions are made and a probe is placed into the vertebral space where the fracture is located. The bone is drilled and a balloon, called a bone tamp, is inserted on each side. These balloons are then inflated with contrast medium (to be seen using image guidance x-rays) until they expand to the desired height and removed. The balloon does not remain in the patient. It simply creates a cavity for the cement and also helps expand the compressed bone.
The spaces created by the balloons are then filled with PMMA, the same orthopedic cement used in vertebroplasty, binding the fracture. The cement hardens quickly, providing strength and stability to the vertebra, restoring height, and relieving pain.
Kyphoplasty utilizes a cement-like material that is injected directly into the fractured bone. This stabilizes the fracture and provides immediate pain relief, in many cases. Kyphoplasty has the additional advantage of being able to restore height to the spine, thus reducing deformity. After either procedure, most patients quickly return to their normal daily activities.
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