Compression fractures are common spinal problems. Patients generally complain of very sudden severe back pain. Frequently this pain can be quite incapacitating. Compression fractures are most commonly seen in older woman as a result of osteoporosis. Often these are initially treated by conservative means including antiinflammatory medication, pain medication, and external bracing. In patients who have severe pain, kyphoplasty is an option.
A kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure generally taking less than one hour. Patients can usually be discharged from the hospital the next day. The procedure is performed in the operating room under x-ray guidance. A needle is inserted into the collapsed vertebral body. A balloon is then expanded within the collapsed vertebra to regain height. The balloon is then removed. Bone cement is then injected into the fractured vertebral body.
Following kyphoplasty, patients commonly have complete relief of their pre-procedure pain. We encourage patients to be out of bed and walking within hours after the procedure.