Lumbar and Thoracic Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty addresses spinal compression fractures. These fractures are typically resultant of pathologies including osteoporosis or cancer. They occur due to compression on the diseased bone of the spine. As a result, the spine is incapable of supporting the weight and structural stresses placed upon it. The vertebra collapses, causing pain, hunched positioning known as kyphosis, and loss of height. Early correction in central to successful treatment.

Kyphoplasty is used in the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine  includes T1-T12 vertebrae. It may also involve the lumbar spine which incorporates the L1-L5 vertebrae. Lumbar and thoracic kyphoplasty requires a small incision through the back,  adjacent to the degenerated vertebra. Your surgeon will  insert a small tube through the pedicle of the diseased vertebral tissue. They will use fluoroscopic imaging to monitor ideal placement. Once the tube is positioned, your surgeon will then insert a tiny balloon into the vertebra and slowly inflate it until the vertebra is returned to its correct height. In order to guarantee symmetry, two balloons may be inserted within the vertebra. After inflation, the small balloon is removed, leaving a cavity. The surgeon with then fill the cavity with a cement like substance referred to as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). Following injection, the patient will be closely monitored. This procedure may require a 24-hour hospital stay. Patients undergoing kyphoplasty will not be permitted to drive following the procedure and must arrange transportation.

Relief from pain may be experienced almost immediately following kyphoplasty. However, patients may also require up to 48 hours before benefits are evident. Following surgery, you may be prescribed a bone strengthening medication to restore density and prevent future bone loss. X-ray imaging is often used to confirm equal placement of the polymethylmethacrylate. This surgery typically takes an hour per vertebra. Patients should be able to walk within an hour following the procedure, with approximately 75% of patients regaining spinal mobility.