Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure for the spine and is designed to stop the pain that is caused by a spinal fracture. These spinal fractures can take place at different levels of the spine but most commonly spinal fractures occur in the thoracic and lumbar region of the spinal column.
The goals of kyphoplasty are to stop the thoracic pain that occurs when the vertebral fracture occurs in the upper back region, to stabilize the bone as well as to restore the vertebral height that has been lost due to a compression fracture.
This type of thoracic spinal surgery can be a lengthy procedure as almost one hour is required for each of the vertebra that is involved. Most of the time relief from thoracic back pain is immediate for patients however; some may report the relief or complete elimination of pain in about two days after the surgery.
Risks of Kyphoplasty Surgery
As with any surgical procedure, kyphoplasty also comes with its own set of risks and complications. General risks include infection and anesthesia. Other more particular complications that are related to kyphoplasty include:
- Spinal cord injury or nerve damage
- Nerve or spinal cord compression
- Leaking of PMMA into the epidural space or veins
- Allergic reaction to the X-ray solution used to see the balloon
Kyphoplasty Success Rate & Recovery
As mentioned above, some patients report immediate relief from the pain while others may feel the reduction or complete elimination of pain after within two days. Patients are usually kept under observation for one day in the hospital after the operation. Once at home, they can return to normal daily activities, although physically strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects must be avoided for at least six weeks.