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Kyphoplasty is done to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine. The procedure can return your vertebrae to a more normal shape.
Your doctor may numb the area, or you may get medicine to make you sleep. The doctor makes a small cut in your back. Then the doctor puts a balloon device into a vertebra. The doctor inflates the balloon and then deflates it. Then a substance that works like cement is put into the space created by the balloon.
It takes about 1 to 2 hours to treat each vertebra. You may go home that day, or you may spend the night in the hospital.
Most people are able to go back to their normal activities within a day after kyphoplasty.
Experts looked at a large group of studies of kyphoplasty. They found that there is no strong evidence that kyphoplasty is better than non-surgical treatment, such as pain medicine, rest, and exercise. These experts believe kyphoplasty may be an option for some people. footnote 1
Possible problems from the surgery include:
Problems are more common when more than one vertebra is treated at the same time.
Talk to your doctor about how kyphoplasty compares with other treatments you might have.
CitationsEsses SI, et al. (2011). The treatment of symptomatic osteoporotic spinal compression fractures. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 19(3): 176–182. Also available online: http://www.aaos.org/research/guidelines/guide.asp.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Carla J. Herman MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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