Kyphoplasty is a procedure for the treatment of spinal compression fractures. It is a minimally invasive procedure recommended if other conservative measures have already failed.
Medication and physical therapy should be first line treatments prior to the consideration of surgical interventions. Osteoporosis, or weakening of the bone, is the most common reason for fractures that will require kyphoplasty. Other conditions that may cause spinal compression fractures include:
- Growth from malignancies
- Metastatic CA
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Chronic renal disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Certain medications have also been identified to cause osteoporosis, and continued intake of the following can contribute to the weakening and fracture of the spine:
- Cytotoxic drugs
- Thyroid replacement drugs
The procedure at a Las Vegas pain management clinic utilizes the injection of bone cement into the fracture site, which hardens and stabilizes the damaged vertebra within 20 minutes. Medical-grade bone cement is used to repair fractured or compressed vertebrae. This is usually inserted with the guidance of a fluoroscope (which uses X-rays) into the affected vertebra.
Spinal compression fractures are marked by the loss of vertebral height. Kyphoplasty addresses this with the injection of an inflatable balloon tamp into the affected vertebral body.
Saline is pumped into the balloon, and the balloon expands to increase the height of the vertebral body and increase the space available for the bone cement. After the appropriate correction of vertebral height, bone cement is injected to fill the space.
When the bone cement hardens, it provides structural support and stabilization to the broken vertebra. The fragments are fused into a continuous piece, which addresses the irritation and inflammation caused by broken pieces rubbing against each other, and against nerves and other surrounding soft tissues. The polymerization process (hardening of the bone cement) releases heat, which contributes to the relief of pain symptoms. Kyphoplasty has also been shown to help prevent further injury.
The procedure may requires inpatient admission to the hospital, but more and more it’s being done as an outpatient. It is carried out under general anesthesia or IV sedation. After the procedure is completed, a recovery period is recommended to observe the patient and see the progress of the healing. While kyphoplasty can resolve the compression fracture pain entirely, some recommend that patients who undergo the procedure also undergo a program of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Some studies have shown that kyphoplasty can readily alleviate pain symptoms in over 85% of patients. Other studies contradict that data, but there are so many in favor of the procedure it’s still widely used.
The procedure is well tolerated by most patients, however, it is only recommended after the failure of more conservative options. In the absence of risk factors for failure of non-surgical management, experts recommend that conservative management, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation and bracing, be attempted for at least three weeks before surgical options are recommended.
Kyphoplasty carries the general risks of surgery. These include infection of the surgical site, or possible intraoperative damage to muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues. The procedure may fail to resolve the symptoms or cause persistent pain. There is also the risk of adverse effects from leakage or erroneous placement of the bone cement. However, these risks are rare, and choosing an experienced Las Vegas pain management doctor minimizes these risks.
Nevada Pain offers the top pain management doctors in Las Vegas and Henderson. The pain doctors are Board Certified and have a combined 30 years of experience of treatment for such conditions as vertebral compression fractures and all types of acute and chronic pain conditions.
Over 50 insurance plans are accepted at Nevada Pain, call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling with pain management Las Vegas trusts!