Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure Dr. Radcliff uses to treat fractures of the vertebrae typically caused by conditions such as osteoporosis or trauma. Vertebral compression fractures can cause extreme pain, spine deformity, loss of mobility, and loss of height. Kyphoplasty is designed to correct all these issues.
Many people with vertebral compression fractures recover without surgery. However, if a person is in severe pain that doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatment, kyphoplasty may be an option.
During the procedure, Dr. Radcliff makes a small incision in the back through which he places a narrow tube. Using fluoroscopy to guide it into the proper placement, he then inserts a special balloon through the tube and into the vertebrae and gently inflates it. As the balloon inflates, it elevates the fracture, returning the pieces to a more normal position. It also compacts the soft inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.
Dr. Radcliff then removes the balloon and injects an acrylic bone cement into the fracture, which hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.
The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour per vertebrae and patients can often go home the same day as their procedures.
Pain relief will be immediate for some patients. In others, elimination or reduction of pain is reported within two days. At home, patients can return to their normal daily activities, although strenuous exertion, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least six weeks.