Is Kyphoplasty Right for Me?

Kyphoplasty treats one specific problem: vertebral compression fractures. It’s the only minimally invasive procedure that restores the fractured vertebra.

If you suffer a vertebral compression fracture, there’s a good chance that kyphoplasty is right for you. However, making that decision isn’t straightforward, and it’s essential to know about a few key criteria that determine whether or not you’re a good candidate.

Florida Pain Medicine can help you determine if kyphoplasty is the best treatment for your vertebral compression fracture, but don’t wait to seek a consultation. Kyphoplasty isn’t an option after your bone heals.

Facts about vertebral compression fractures

Vertebral compression fractures occur when one or more vertebrae collapse because they’re too weak to support your body. You can develop weak vertebrae because of a spinal tumor. However, most compression factors are caused by osteoporosis.

Over the years, your bones stay strong by continuously getting rid of old bone and replacing it with new, healthy bone. When bone loss occurs at a faster pace than bone production, you gradually develop osteoporosis. As a result, your vertebrae lose density and become weak and brittle.

You won’t feel the changes taking place in your vertebrae. Most people don’t have any symptoms until their osteoporosis causes significant vertebral weakness. Then the bone suddenly collapses, causing a vertebral compression fracture.

When a vertebra collapses, you experience symptoms such as:

Compression fractures cause a deformity called kyphosis, or roundback. When a compression fracture occurs, the front of the vertebra collapses, while the back maintains its normal height. This gives the bone a wedge-like shape.

If several adjacent vertebrae develop compression fractures, the wedge-shaped bones form a rounded hump in your upper back.

Six reasons you can’t have kyphoplasty

Having a vertebral compression fracture doesn’t always mean you’re a good candidate for kyphoplasty.

Kyphoplasty is not the best procedure when:

The timing of your treatment — considering kyphoplasty before the bone heals — can be tricky.

Don’t put off a kyphoplasty consultation

Treatment for a vertebral compression fracture starts with conservative measures such as bracing. Some doctors give their patients four to six weeks to feel better after starting conservative treatment. They don’t recommend surgery unless you continue to have significant pain after that six-week period.

Other doctors prefer to keep their vertebral compression fracture patients on conservative treatment for three months before considering more invasive options.

You can’t afford to wait for six weeks if you want kyphoplasty to restore the vertebra. The bone heals in about 8-10 weeks, so you need to have kyphoplasty before you reach the eight-week mark.

The only way to time it right is to schedule an appointment to see us as soon as you develop any signs of a compression fracture. We thoroughly evaluate your spine, determine if you have a compression fracture, then talk with you about the best treatment approach.

How kyphoplasty restores the vertebra

During kyphoplasty, we use real-time imaging to guide a needle into the fractured vertebra. Then we insert a balloon through the needle into the vertebra and inflate the balloon, which restores the normal height and shape of the vertebra.

After removing the balloon, we fill the space with bone cement. The cement dries quickly, restoring the bone’s strength, maintaining its normal shape, and alleviating your pain.

At the first sign of back pain or to learn more about kyphoplasty, call Florida Pain Medicine, or schedule an appointment online.

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