What Is Kyphoplasty?


Quick Answer

Kyphoplasty is a treatment process used to treat painful compression fractures that occur in the spine, states MedlinePlus. In the treatment process, patients may be asleep and unable to feel pain, or may be awake and unable to feel pain, medically referred to as under general anesthesia and local anesthesia respectively.

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This treatment involves placing a surgical instrument fitted with an inflatable balloon inside the spine to expand the vertebral bones, states MedicineNet. When the instrument is removed, bone-cement mixture is introduced to fill the space formed. This procedure is meant to restore body height and correct deformity.

Compression fractures of the spine are caused by thinning of bones, or osteoporosis, explains MedlinePlus. Patients with severe and disabling pain for more than two months that don't get better with physical therapy, bed rest and pain medicine may be recommended for this procedure by doctors. Patients with a painful compression fracture of the spine resulting from cancer may also be recommended for this procedure. Despite the fact that Kyphoplasty is safe, it may have complications such as allergic reaction to medicine, bleeding, infection, breathing and heart problems for patients with general anesthesia, and leaking of the bone cement to the surrounding areas, which may result in pain if the nerves and spine get affected, says MedlinePlus.

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