A kyphoplasty is a procedure that effectively treats people whose bones have been weakened by cancer, or those whose vertebrae have collapsed due to osteoporosis. This minimally-invasive procedure is often performed alongside a vertebroplasty—a technique used to inject a cement mixture into the bone to improve its strength.
Who is a Kyphoplasty Candidate?
Like mentioned before, most candidates for kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty have had their bones weakened by cancer or osteoporosis. However, the long-term effects of using bone cement aren’t known, so the procedures are typically reserved for older people.
During this minimally-invasive procedure, Dr. Subramanian repairs a compression fracture or break in a patient’s vertebra. This fracture or break makes it difficult for the patient to move freely, so the procedure aims to restore the strength and mobility of the spine.
Typically kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are performed together, and don’t often require a hospital stay. Kyphoplasty makes room for the cement mixture that Dr. Subramanian will inject into the vertebrae during the vertebroplasty.
First, he inserts a hollow needle into your skin. With the help of an x-ray, they guide the needle through your muscles into the correct position in your spine. He then inserts and inflates a balloon to create an opening. Once the cement is injected, Dr. Subramanian removes the balloon. He bandages the area without stitches.
If Dr. Subramanian is only treating one vertebra, the procedure usually takes less than one hour.
Soreness during recovery is typical, but Dr. Subramanian encourages patients to walk within an hour of the procedure. Most patients return home later the same day, but other times, patients are required to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring.
Dr. Subramanian will advise you when you can return to normal activities/exercise. Most patients feel better within 48 hours following surgery.