What Is Kyphoplasty?

Jan 01, 2024
What Is Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty could be the answer for your chronic back pain. This procedure repairs compression fractures and restores your spinal integrity to improve mobility and ease discomfort. Learn more here. 

Over 19,000 kyphoplasty procedures are performed in the United States every year to relieve the pain of spinal compression fractures. Compression fractures are tiny breaks in your spinal bones that can cause those bones to crumble. It’s painful, impacts mobility, and can lead to a hunched spinal curve — which can affect your breathing and organ functions.

If you’ve had physical therapy and tried pain medications, but you’re not finding relief from fracture-related back pain, this outpatient procedure may be the answer.

At Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas, Sergio Alvarado, MD, and our expert team evaluate your medical history and order diagnostic tests like X-rays to review your spinal condition. Here’s when we might recommend kyphoplasty, and what you can expect from the procedure.

Who’s a good candidate for kyphoplasty?

If you’re suffering from back pain, you’ve probably tried many treatments, such as pain medications or injections. You may have tried massage, acupuncture, or even surgery. Yet, if you still haven’t found relief, it could be due to tiny fractures in your vertebrae. 

Often, such fractures stem from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens your bones, making them more susceptible to damage. 

What happens during kyphoplasty?

During kyphoplasty, Dr. Alvarado uses X-ray guidance to insert a balloon-loaded needle into your back, and then carefully inflates the balloon to expand the fractured bone. 

The balloon gently forces the vertebrae to fill out again so you can regain lost height and stand up straighter. After Dr. Alvarado deflates the balloon, there’s a cavity within the vertebrae that he fills with a special type of cement. This cement filling helps stabilize the surrounding bone fragments and support your spine.  

The entire procedure usually takes an hour or less, and recovery is usually quick. Many people are able to stand and walk around shortly after the procedure. 

What are the benefits of kyphoplasty? 

This minimally invasive procedure offers many benefits, including eliminating chronic pain and spinal deformity. With regained mobility and a straighter spine, you’ll also have better posture and put less strain on your organs. 

The recovery time is quick, too, with many people feeling significant pain relief right away that continues to improve over the coming weeks. 

Does kyphoplasty carry any risks?

Of course, there are risks with any procedure. These include potential nerve injury, allergic reactions to the materials, infection, leakage of the cement, or re-injury. Dr. Alvarado discusses any possible risks with you prior to undergoing the procedure. 

Learn more about kyphoplasty today

At Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas, we assess your condition and medical history and make appropriate recommendations for your back pain relief. Kyphoplasty is only one possible approach. Call or click online to schedule a visit with our back pain experts today.