If you’ve been diagnosed with a compression fracture in your spine, kyphoplasty may offer much-needed pain relief and prevent permanent spinal deformity.
What is Kyphoplasty?
The bone on the outside of your vertebrae is stronger than it is on the inside, which is where most compression fractures occur. When you experience a compression fracture, your backbone typically caves in on itself on the weaker side, which can leave you stooped over and in considerable pain.
To correct this, your doctor may turn to a kyphoplasty. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a balloon inside your vertebra using a small tube and X-ray imaging for guidance.
Once the balloon is in place, your doctor inflates it to restore your vertebra to its original height. After removing the balloon, your doctor fills the newly created vertebral space with a special acrylic material. Once this material hardens, it stabilizes your vertebra, taking the pressure off of the nerves that were causing you pain.
Is Kyphoplasty Right for Me?
Kyphoplasty only works if your fracture hasn’t already healed in place, which is why it’s important to see your doctor at the first signs that something is amiss. These signs include:
- Increased hunching
- Loss of height
Many compression fractures are the result of osteoporosis, which is a progressive condition that leaves your bones increasingly porous and brittle, and prone to fracture. This means that a compression fracture can develop slowly, so you need to pay close attention to any changes in your spine.
With a kyphoplasty, most patients see great results if it’s within two weeks of the fracture, but height-restoring and pain-relieving results are still possible up to eight weeks out. After your evaluation, your doctor gives you a better idea of what you can expect.
What is Recovery Like After Kyphoplasty?
Many people feel immediate relief from their pain after kyphoplasty, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to jump back into full action. Typically, you can resume normal activities a day or two after your procedure, but be mindful of doing anything that may strain your back, such as heavy lifting, for six weeks.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.