Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive back surgery performed to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine by stabilizing the broken vertebral bone with a cement-like substance. Compression fractures can occur from a variety of conditions, including to osteoporosis, tumors, or trauma. This simple procedure utilizes a small inflated balloon to join a spinal fracture so it can be sealed with special substances. A few patients with osteoporosis are not candidates for this procedure and it is not used to correct spine deformities such as scoliosis. Patients are typically under local or general anesthesia and the procedure takes about 1-2 hours per vertebra. Please refer to a back specialist in Houston to see if this procedure is right for you.

What to Expect Before Kyphoplasty

Once you have decided to have back surgery and a US Pain & Spine physician has decided that kyphoplasty is right for you, here are a few things you might expect:

  • A medical examination.
  • Chest X-ray, EKG, and blood work.
  • You may be asked to have a neurological or psychological examination.
  • If taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications daily, stop these medications at least one week before the kyphoplasty surgery.
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink for 6-8 hours before surgery.
  • You will check into the hospital the morning of surgery.
  • Prior to the procedure, you will be asked to sign permits for surgery, anesthesia, blood, and blood products.

What to Expect During Kyphoplasty

  • Your doctor may numb the area, or you may get medicine to make you sleep.
  • The doctor makes a small cut in your back and puts a balloon device into the fractured vertebra.
  • The doctor slowly inflates the balloon to push together fractured vertebra and then eventually deflates it.
  • Then he or she puts a substance that works like cement into the space created by the balloon.
  • The procedure typically takes about 1-2 hours to treat each vertebra.

What to Expect After Kyphoplasty

  • You will be in the recovery room for 1-1½ hours.
  • The surgeon will contact your family while you are in recovery.
  • After going to a hospital room, you will be able to use a PCA pump to get medication for pain control. This machine controls the amount of medication that can be received.
  • Staff will usually get you out of bed the same day as the surgery.
  • The hospital stay is usually 1-3 days.
  • You will be given any needed prescriptions and discharge instructions.

Contact a back pain specialist at US Pain & Spine, a Houston spine clinic, to learn more about this life-changing procedure. Through careful evaluation, our physicians and staff will decide if kyphoplasty can help improve your overall quality of life and free you from chronic back pain. If you suffer from osteoporosis or have experienced severe back trauma, you may be a candidate for this revolutionary procedure. Stop living in pain; make the call today to have a healthier tomorrow.