Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.

Who Can Benefit from Kyphoplasty?

Who Can Benefit from Kyphoplasty?

Who can benefit from kyphoplasty? The answer is simple: anyone who has a vertebral compression fracture. But there’s a lot more to know about this minimally invasive procedure, like how it works and why waiting too long to seek help can stop you from having kyphoplasty.

The specialists at Florida Pain Medicine have extensive experience performing kyphoplasty, helping many patients return to their daily activities without the burden of back pain. Here’s the information you need to know about the procedure and who’s a good candidate.

About vertebral compression fractures

It usually takes a lot of force to fracture a healthy spine, but vertebral compression fractures are different. Compression fractures occur when osteoporosis makes the vertebra so weak they can’t stand up to normal, everyday spinal movement. 

As a result, the vertebral bones collapse. In fact, the bones are so weak they can collapse by simply coughing or twisting your body.

Your body naturally eliminates old and damaged bone and replaces it with new bone throughout your adult life. Osteoporosis develops when you lose bone faster than it’s replaced.

You’re more likely to develop osteoporosis if you have risk factors such as:

Though men also develop osteoporosis, women have a much higher risk. Women have smaller bones that weaken with less bone loss. Women also face a huge risk after menopause. They can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the five to seven years after menopause.

How kyphoplasty treats vertebral compression fractures

Compression fractures make the front of the vertebra collapse, but the back side maintains its normal height. As a result, the bone develops a wedge-like shape. Kyphoplasty restores the vertebra’s normal height and strength. 

During your procedure, we use real-time X-ray imaging to insert a specialized needle through your skin and guide it into the collapsed vertebra.

We send a balloon device through the needle and into the vertebra and inflate the balloon to restore the bone’s height. A cavity remains in the middle of the bone after we deflate and remove the balloon.

We slowly inject bone cement into the cavity. The cement hardens, stabilizing the fracture, restoring the bones’ height, strengthening the vertebra, and stabilizing your spine. 

Following a kyphoplasty procedure, most patients experience a significant reduction in back pain along with improved spinal mobility.

Reasons you can’t have kyphoplasty

Most adults of any age are good candidates for kyphoplasty. You may not be able to have the procedure if you have any of the following:

The last item is incredibly important. You have a limited amount of time to have kyphoplasty because you can’t have the procedure after the bone heals.

Time limit for seeking kyphoplasty

Your vertebra naturally heals after a compression fracture. Your pain may improve after healing, and the new shape may not cause problems, depending on the severity of the collapse. For this reason, your treatment usually begins with conservative therapies like pain medications, bracing, and physical therapy.

But we can’t perform kyphoplasty to restore the bone’s normal height and strength after it heals. Instead, the bone remains in a permanent wedge-like shape.

It takes 8-12 weeks for most compression fractures to heal, making it essential to talk with us well before eight weeks to ensure you’re still a good candidate.

If your vertebral compression fracture causes severe pain or limited mobility, or your pain doesn’t improve after several weeks of conservative therapies, don’t wait to talk with us about kyphoplasty. Call Florida Pain Medicine, or book an appointment online today.

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