Who is a Candidate for Kyphoplasty?

Who is a Candidate for Kyphoplasty?

A vertebral compression fracture can be debilitating. It’s a small break in one or more of the bones that make up your spine, and it can cause severe pain and limit mobility. Traditional treatments for vertebral compression fractures typically involve bed rest, pain medication, and physical therapy.

While these treatments may provide relief for some patients, they can take several weeks or months to be effective, and some patients may not experience significant pain relief. 

Here at Pain Management Specialists, board-certified interventional pain management physicians Stuart Hough, MD, and Ramani Peruvemba, MD, specialize in helping patients with spine-related pain get relief. And one of the options they offer for vertebral compression fractures is kyphoplasty.

In this blog, they explain what kyphoplasty is and who’s a good candidate for this procedure.

What is a vertebral compression fracture?

A vertebral compression fracture is a type of spinal fracture that occurs when a vertebra in the spine collapses or breaks due to osteoporosis, trauma, or other medical conditions. Vertebral compression fractures are more common with age, and women are more likely to experience this type of fracture than men.

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment for vertebral compression fractures that can provide immediate pain relief and improve mobility. For this procedure, your provider makes two small incisions near the fractured vertebra.

Then, a thin hollow tube called a cannula is inserted into each incision and into the fractured vertebra. Then, a balloon is expanded at the tip of each cannula, which restores the height of the vertebra.

The balloons are then removed, and a special medical cement is delivered through each cannula to fill the space that was created by the balloons. The cement then hardens and stabilizes the vertebra. 

Who is a good candidate for kyphoplasty?

In general, kyphoplasty is recommended for patients with one or more of the following factors:

Chronic and severe pain

Patients who are experiencing severe pain due to a vertebral compression fracture are often good candidates for kyphoplasty. The procedure has a high success rate in reducing pain and improving quality of life.

Recent fracture

Kyphoplasty is most effective when performed within 6-8 weeks of a fracture. This is because kyphoplasty can prevent further complications and help restore mobility. 

If left untreated, vertebral compression fractures can lead to chronic pain, loss of mobility, and other complications. 

Osteoporosis

Because osteoporosis weakens the bones, it is a major cause of vertebral compression fractures. Patients with osteoporosis have weakened bones that are more susceptible to fractures, especially in the spine. Kyphoplasty can reduce your risk for further damage.

Limited mobility

Because kyphoplasty stabilizes the spine and restores the height of the affected vertebra, patients are able to move better and without pain. Patients who undergo kyphoplasty may be able to resume their normal activities.

Kyphoplasty is not recommended for patients with stable fractures or mild pain. In these cases, conservative treatments may be more appropriate.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a vertebral compression fracture and want to see if kyphoplasty can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Pain Management Specialists today. We can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss your options.

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