Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for treating vertebral compression fractures, caused by osteoporosis or a malignant tumor. Usually, healthcare providers recommend kyphoplasty chandler after conservative treatment such as bed rest, back braces, or pain medications have been ineffective. Kyphoplasty is also an option for elderly or frail patients at risk of impaired bone healing after a fracture.
How to prepare for kyphoplasty
Before kyphoplasty, your doctor will perform a clinical evaluation to confirm the presence of a compression fracture that will benefit from the procedure. The evaluation may involve a physical exam, blood tests, spine x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or radioisotope bone scam. You may need to list all your medications, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter drugs. Inform your doctor of any allergies, especially to contrast materials, local anesthetic, or general anesthesia. It is also crucial to tell your doctor about any recent illnesses or other medical conditions you may have. Before the procedure, your healthcare provider may instruct that you stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or blood thinners.
On the day of the procedure, you can take your usual medications with sips of water up to six hours before. Besides your usual medications, your doctor will require you not to eat or drink anything for several hours before kyphoplasty. You also want to plan for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
What to expect during kyphoplasty
This procedure usually occurs outpatient, but sometimes admission may be necessary. Your doctor will inform you if you need to be admitted. A doctor or nurse will connect you to monitors that track your oxygen level, heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure. Next, an anesthesiologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm to administer a sedative, but sometimes general anesthesia may be necessary. You may take some medications to prevent nausea and antibiotics to prevent an infection. You will be positioned lying on your stomach for the procedure.
Your doctor will shave and sterilize the area through which they will insert the hollow needle. Using x-ray guidance, your doctor inserts a needle through your skin and muscles into the bone. They then inflate a balloon to create a hole and cavity. The doctor will then remove the balloon and inject cement into the space created by the balloon. An x-ray scan at the end of the procedure allows your doctor to distribute the cement. To prevent bleeding, the doctor applies pressure and covers the opening with a bandage; no sutures are needed. The procedure usually takes an hour but might last longer if several vertebrae are being treated.
Once the procedure is done, you will spend some time in a recovery room and may later go home on the same day of treatment. Expect some soreness in the area where the needle was inserted; this only lasts a few days. Although you can walk after the procedure, your doctor may recommend staying in bed for the first 24 hours, except when using the bathroom.
If you have further questions about kyphoplasty, consult your doctor at Apex Pain Specialists.