Are you experiencing severe pain in your back, arms or legs? Can you feel your arms and legs going numb? There are several reasons why this can happen, one being a spinal compression fracture.
What is Kyphoplasty?
Though a compression fracture may or may not show any signs or symptoms, the pain and numbness occur gradually, especially if it is caused by osteoporosis. There are several treatments for spinal compression fractures, Kyphoplasty being widely used in recent times.
In most cases, a spinal compression fracture is a result of osteoporosis, a disease that results in the loss of normal bone density, mass, and strength. Osteoporosis makes your bone vulnerable to break. The spinal compression fracture can also be caused by cancer or a benign lesion. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat spinal compression fractures. It reduces the pain from the fracture, stabilizes your vertebra, and restores your vertebra back to its normal height. It helps correct the bone deformity and relieves the pain associated with the spinal compression fracture.
The Kyphoplasty Procedure
The first step of kyphoplasty procedure involves a clinical evaluation to confirm the presence of a compression fracture in your spine. That will happen as soon as you make an appointment at The Pain, Spine and Sports Institute with Dr Rehan Ali. The evaluation includes:
- Spine X-rays
- Blood tests
- Diagnostic imaging
- Physical examination
- Radioisotope bone scan
The evaluation also helps determine the location of the fracture. Dr. Ali will check your medical history, ask for any allergies and may recommend bone strengthening medicines during the treatment. You will also be advised against taking blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin for a few days before the procedure.
What Will Happen During the Procedure?
- During the procedure, an incision is made on your back. A narrow pathway is made into the fractured bone with a hollow instrument with the help of an X-ray. The X-ray ensures the accuracy of the procedure.
- A catheter tube with a small orthopedic balloon at the tip is guided into your vertebra through the hollow instrument. Usually two balloons are used, one on each side of the vertebral body.
- The balloons are carefully inflated to elevate the fractured vertebra. The balloon creates a cavity within the vertebral body. The balloon cavity compacts the inner bone against the outer wall. This functions as a repository for the bone cement.
- The balloon is then deflated, removed and the liquid bone cement is injected into the cavity. It takes the bone cement 10 minutes to harden and form an internal cast that holds the vertebral body in place.
Are You a Candidate for Kyphoplasty Treatment?
While kyphoplasty can correct spinal compression fractures, it cannot correct an established deformity of the spine. This treatment is suitable for you if:
- You are not an osteoporosis patient and want to avoid future fractures.
- You will be advised against the treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You are a patient with a chronic vertebral fracture.
- You have a spinal curvature from causes other than osteoporosis.
- You have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis with nerve or spinal cord compression and loss of neurological function.
- You do not have healthy bones and have suffered a fracture due to an accident.
- You have an arthritic back.
If you are suffering from a spinal compression fracture but you are unsure whether you are the right candidate for kyphoplasty, make an appointment with Dr. Rehan Ali at The Pain, Spine and Sports Institute who will guide you in every way.