How Does Kyphoplasty Work?

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How Does Kyphoplasty Work?

It’s a normal part of aging to lose bone density. For some people, that causes vertebral compression fractures due to the expansion of space in their bones’ honeycomb structure. A procedure called kyphoplasty can repair these fractures.

It’s a normal part of aging to lose bone density. While this isn’t a problem for everyone, some people develop osteoporosis, where the honeycomb structure of their bones weakens due to loss of bone tissue.

A common result of this condition is the collapse of vertebrae, medically known as compression fractures. 

When vertebrae collapse, your spine shortens and curves forward. That can affect your ability to move while also causing pain. For spinal issues related to compression fractures, kyphoplasty may be the solution you need. 

Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management, with offices in West Des Moines and East Des Moines, Iowa, specializes in minimally invasive kyphoplasty procedures. Visit us when you’re suffering from the effects of osteoporosis.

How compression fractures occur

Spinal compression fractures most often result from osteoporosis. Despite the hard and permanent appearance of bone, it’s living tissue that’s constantly in a state of renewal. As you get older, old bone gets reabsorbed at a faster rate than new tissue regenerates. 

The interior of your bones is a mix of bone tissue and space, similar in structure to sponge toffee. As osteoporosis progresses, the space increases in size. Over time, the structural strength of bone starts to fall. 

The pressures exerted on your spine could overwhelm the capacity of weakened vertebrae and result in a crushing action called a compression fracture, where bone tissue collapses under the loads supported by your spine.

As well as pain, these fractures can cause other complications, including nerve compression, spinal deformation, and loss of motion. 

How does kyphoplasty work?

Surgery to repair a compression fracture is, fortunately, a minimally invasive procedure, so you have no long recovery times associated with conventional open surgery.

Surgical instruments enter your spine through keyhole incisions, so scarring and other surgical complications are also minimized. 

Kyphoplasty uses a balloon device inserted through a hollow tube. Inflating this balloon restores the shape of collapsed vertebrae to their approximate pre-compression fracture shape. 

Once the balloon is in place and supporting a vertebra, the space gets filled with a special cement to permanently fix the collapsed bone. 

In some cases, the balloon device isn’t necessary, and we can insert cement directly. This variation is called a vertebroplasty. In either case, you’re undergoing a low-risk procedure for spinal surgery. 

The procedures take 1-2 hours per vertebral level. If you have two compression fractures, you can expect a procedure of about four hours or less. 

Contact Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management if the effects of compression fractures or osteoporosis cause pain or limit your daily activities. You can reach the nearest of our offices by phone or online to arrange your consultation today.