Kyphoplasty

What Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment for painful vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) in the spine. During the procedure, a small balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra and inflated to create a cavity or space. This cavity helps to restore some of the lost vertebral height caused by the compression fracture. After creating the cavity, bone cement is injected into the space to stabilize the fractured vertebra and relieve pain. Kyphoplasty not only stabilizes the vertebra but also helps to correct spinal deformities and restore the height of the collapsed vertebra.

  • What Is the Recovery Time?

    What Is the Recovery Time?

    Kyphoplasty is considered an outpatient procedure allowing you to return home the same day as your treatment. Pain relief can occur as quickly as the same day but may take up to two weeks for some patients. In the first few days at home, soreness and discomfort may occur around the injection site and back area. Individual recovery rates may vary, and following your post-procedure instructions is essential for the best outcome.

  • Side Effects of Kyphoplasty

    Side Effects of Kyphoplasty

    Common side effects include mild to moderate pain and discomfort at the procedure site and treated area which usually subsides within a few days. Bruising and swelling around the site may also occur.

    There is a slight risk of infection at the injection site or around the treated vertebra, although proper sterile techniques and use of prophylactic antibiotics just before your procedure minimize this risk.

    While extremely rare, more severe complications including nerve or spinal cord injury during the procedure, cement leakage into the surrounding tissues causing irritation and pain or embolization of the bone cement to the lungs can occur.  

  • Is Kyphoplasty Permanent?

    Is Kyphoplasty Permanent?

    Kyphoplasty is a durable and permanent fix for the fracture that is treated.  Once in place, the bone cement becomes a part of the bone and will stay there forever.

    Though kyphoplasty can offer long-term benefits, it's essential to understand that the procedure does not treat the underlying condition (typically osteoporosis and occasionally cancer) that caused the vertebral compression fracture to occur and may not prevent the possibility of future fractures. The underlying condition that led to the initial compression fracture may still be present, and there is a risk of additional fractures occurring in other areas of the spine.

  • Vertebroplasty and Sacroplasty

    Vertebroplasty and Sacroplasty

    Kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty and sacroplasty are all minimally invasive procedures for treating fractures in the spine and the sacrum. All three methods aim to stabilize the fractured bone and alleviate pain, but they differ slightly in their approach.

    Vertebroplasty is a less complex procedure than kyphoplasty and involves directly injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebra without using a balloon or any cavity creation. The cement is injected under continuous fluoroscopic guidance to ensure accurate placement. 
    As the cement hardens, it stabilizes the fractured vertebra, provides support, and helps to relieve pain. However, vertebroplasty does not restore the lost vertebral height or correct spinal deformity as effectively as kyphoplasty.

    The choice between kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty depends on the specific characteristics of the fracture and the patient's condition.

    Sacroplasty is similar to vertebroplasty but targets fractures of the sacrum which is located at the back of the pelvis between the hips. 

  • How to Prepare for your Procedure

    How to Prepare for your Procedure

    You will need to have an empty stomach the day of your procedure so you must have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before.  

    However, you may and should take your daily morning medications for blood pressure, heart conditions or other important health issues with just a few sips of water.

    If you take blood thinners, aspirin or other anti-platelet medications you will be instructed to hold those for a certain number of days prior to your procedure to minimize your risk of bleeding.

    You will need to have a driver to take you to and from your procedure and you must have someone who can stay with you at home the first day and night.

    Your doctor may also have labs drawn prior to your procedure.  

Patient Experiences

Every day, DRI Greensboro strives to ensure patients have the best possible experience before, during and after their exams and procedures. It shows in patient feedback.

This is a team, and when you walk in, you know that you are working with a team that understands what is happening to you and is here to support you. There is nothing awful, frightening or scary about this, because it is a place that is affirmative, it is supportive and it is a place of peace.
—Whitney V.

Submit a story about your experience at DRI Greensboro.

Resources & Forms

Below are some medical forms and educational materials relating to your imaging procedure. Before your appointment at DRI Greensboro, you may wish to download, print and complete medical forms and review educational materials. Completing medical forms in the privacy of your home can save you time and effort when you arrive. 

Patients scheduled for an interventional radiology procedure can find additional resources, including other photos and videos. Additional information is available from the Society of Interventional Radiology.

We proudly extend our services to patients in North Carolina including Greensboro, Burlington, Alamance, Raleigh, and surrounding areas.

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