Balloon kyphoplasty is a medical treatment that aims to reduce the pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture. Also to correct deformity and return the affected bone to its natural position.
First, the doctor applies local anaesthesia. Then he makes an small incision in the back on the affected area. The doctor places a thin tube in the vertebra to be treated. Through the tube, a deflated balloon, called KyphX, is inserted, which will then be inflated to correct the collapse or fracture of the vertebra, causing it to return to its original position.
Then, the balloon is deflated and is removed and the remaining space is filled with a biological cement, of a bone-like texture, called polymethylmethacrylate, responsible for keeping the vertebra in place and welding the fracture.
Then, it only remains to put a small plaster on the wound and wait for the anaesthesia to dissipate. All this is done in an incredible period of thirty minutes.
You will be able to walk once the anaesthesia effect disappears. It is likely that some pain may persist at the site of the incision, so it is advisable to apply ice wrapped in a cloth over the area.
Usually, you will have to take some medications for the time indicated by the doctors. Avoid heavy lifting during the first few days after surgery.
Shortly after the operation, you will notice a considerable improvement in pain and mobility. There are patients who say that the pain disappears immediately after kyphoplasty.
To undergo balloon kyphoplasty you must have suffered at least one of these problems:
Vertebral Fracture: A fracture in one or more vertebrae.
Kyphosis: Excessive bending forward (stoop) in the upper area of the spine.
Osteoporosis fracture: Vertebral collapse caused by osteoporosis or other condition weakening the bone.
If it is a fracture, it is recommended that the procedure is performed before the fracture has healed in its collapsed position. The bone will have regenerated and the fractured space will have been welded.
Kyphoplasty, being such a minimally invasive operation, has several advantages:
1. It is very effective in reducing pain
Some patients experience considerable reduction of vertebral pain within a few hours of the intervention.
2. Improves mobility
By rebuilding the bone, kyphoplasty recovers the mobility of the spine once the bone fracture has been stabilised with the cement. This allows early movements and efforts that other surgeries do not allow.
3. Fast recovery
Since kyphoplasty is such a rapid and accurate intervention without cutting muslces or damaging tissues, if the procedure goes as planned, you will recover completely from it in a short period of time. Although, you will have to careful for a few weeks, you can return to most activities very quickly.
In addition to some general risks, such as infections or allergies to anaesthesia, there may be certain rare complications, such as:
-Nerve damage or spinal cord injury, during the procedure (extremely rare and we have never had a case of this complication).
-Leakage of polymethylmethacrylate into the veins or epidural space. If this occurs, specialists will apply treatments to remove cement.
-There may be minor bleeding that is normal, but there is also a very low risk of bleeding of greater magnitude (less than 1:1000 cases- we have never had this complication).
Either way, kyphoplasty is designed to minimize risks and is very safe compared to other surgeries of the same nature.
You might also want to read: What is a Vertebral Compression Fracture?
At the London Spine Unit, we have some of the best specialists to perform balloon kyphoplasty. Book an appointment to get a checkup.
What is balloon kyphoplasty?
Balloon kyphoplasty is a medical treatment that aims to reduce the pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture. Also, to correct deformity and return the affected bone to its natural position.
What are the indications for balloon kyphoplasty?
To undergo balloon kyphoplasty you must have suffered at least one of these problems: Vertebral Fracture: A fracture in one or more vertebrae. Kyphosis: Excessive bending forward (stoop) in the upper area of the spine. Osteoporosis fracture: Vertebral collapse caused by osteoporosis or other condition weakening the bone.
What are the benefits of balloon kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty, being such a minimally invasive operation, has several advantages. For instance, it is very effective in reducing pain, it improves mobility and provides a faster recovery.