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Kyphoplasty is a unique, minimally-invasive way to treat compression fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine. Most fractures of the aged spine are related to osteoporosis and can lead to a “bent forward” posture called kyphosis. The kyphoplasty procedure can help restore the height of the collapsed vertebrae and relieve a patient of pain by repairing the bone with a strong internal scaffold of bone cement.
The procedure can be done under conscious sedation or general anesthesic and usually takes around 15-25 minutes to complete. A small needle is passed through the skin and into both sides of the broken vertebrae. Next, small tubes are placed over the needles and small balloons are placed into the bone. The balloons are elevated under pressure to help restore the bone, correct the patient’s posture and reduce the kyphosis. Next, bone cement is placed into the bone to stabilize the fracture, just like an internal cast.
After the kyphoplasty procedure, the bone is very strong and usually the pain will be significantly reduced immediately. Mild residual pain may last up to another 2 weeks after the procedure.