This minimally-invasive procedure treats spine fractures caused by osteoporosis, falls, accidents and many other causes. It is designed to provide rapid back pain relief and help straighten the spine. Compression fractures in the spine can happen for many reasons, and are more common than you might think. These fractures happen when one or several of the bones in your spine, called vertebrae, are compressed.
The most common symptom of compression fractures is back pain. For some patients, symptoms may be minimal at first, particularly in those who have osteoarthritis. Others may experience sudden, intense pain. Patients may also notice they appear shorter, or that their spine appears more curved than normal.
In the past, options were limited for patients who experienced a compression fracture. Now, a kyphoplasty procedure may help restore your spine and accelerate your healing process.
A kyphoplasty procedure can provide almost-instant pain relief, and it helps restore the strength of the spine to make it more resilient to future damage. It can also help restore the natural curve of the spine and restore lost height from a compression fracture. Patients who have experienced a compression fracture are more likely to experience another one.
Kyphoplasty also offers the benefits of avoiding major surgery, decreasing pain within hours or days of the procedure, and helping to improve the instability and inflammation caused by the fracture. Most patients will also be able to avoid a hospital stay and go home the same day, and can resume their normal activities shortly after.
A kyphoplasty procedure is always done by a trained and experienced physician. Your doctor will make a small incision in your spine, using x-ray guidance to put a small tube in the affected area. A special kind of balloon is then inserted into the area and inflated. This helps to restore the fracture, undoing the compression and restoring your vertebrae to its proper position.
The balloon is then removed, leaving the space open, and your physician will inject a hard material, called bone cement, into the space. This is a synthetic, biocompatible material that will harden and stabilize the spine, preventing future injuries and helping to alleviate your discomfort.
Most patients can go home the same day their procedure is performed to recover. Always follow your surgeon’s instructions for proper healing after the procedure.
Generally, patients should expect a few weeks to fully recover (up to six weeks). Your physician will let you know more about what to expect during your consultation for kyphoplasty. The majority of patients can still do all their normal activities soon after a kyphoplasty but may need to take it easy for a while.
- For some patients, pain relief can be immediate as previously compressed bone fragments are returned to their original settings.
- For other patients, they can expect to feel relief within two days of the procedure and can return to normal daily activities after a six-week recovery period.
- Conditions will vary from patient to patient and thus proper monitoring after the procedure is crucial to a successful procedure and a speedy recovery.
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Summit Spine & Joint Centers specializes in relieving chronic pain so that you can do what you love. Call us today at (770) 250-4020 or contact us online to schedule your appointment at one of our 22 Atlanta locations.