Q:

What is kyphoplasty surgery?

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Quick Answer

Kyphoplasty surgery is surgery to treat spinal compression fractures, claims Medline Plus. Spinal compression fractures can occur because of osteoporosis, or thinning of the bone, cancer or injury.

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Full Answer

During kyphoplasty surgery, the patient is given an anesthetic while lying face down, explains Medline Plus. The surgeon then makes an incision in the back and threads a needle to the damaged area using fluoroscopy, according to WebMD. Using images on an X-ray machine, the surgeon then inserts a balloon into the injured vertebrae and inflates it. This helps to stabilize the bone and creates a space in which the surgeon injects a type of cement. When the cement hardens, this further stabilizes the bone. Treating each damaged vertebra may take about an hour or two.

Though it involves the spine, kyphoplasty is often an outpatient procedure, claims Medline Plus. The patient can be taken home shortly after the operation and should rest in bed for at least a day. As the days pass, the patient can slowly resume her daily activities. However, the patient will need to avoid heavy lifting and any strenuous activity for at least a month and a half.

The prognosis for kyphoplasty is hopeful, and complications are unusual, according to Medline Plus.

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