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Kyphoplasty is an image-guided technique used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF), typically caused by osteoporosis. During the procedure, a small needle with an attached balloon is used to open up space in the fractured vertebra. That space is then filled with special orthopedic cement that fuses and strengthens any weak, fractured or broken bones. For many patients, pain relief, and even elimination, is felt within days of the procedure—allowing them to get back to their lives.
Your physician may recommend Kyphoplasty if you suffered a fracture of the vertebrae or have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or a tumor that caused a vertebral compression fracture (VCF) and you are not getting relief from less invasive treatment options.
During this procedure, a balloon is inserted through a trocar (hollow needle) into the vertebra and inflated to create an opening. The balloon is removed and a special cement mixture is inserted into the opening providing stability for vertebrae that have become porous, broken or compressed.
You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat, drink or smoke anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints, gum and tobacco. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID, list of current medications (dose and frequency) and any diagnostic testing results.
Before the exam, your physician will order several tests including imaging tests, blood tests and X-rays. During the exam, you will lie facedown on a table. You will be connected to monitors that will track your vitals during the procedure. You will receive a sedative or anesthesia. In addition, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-nausea and pain medications. The area where the needle will be inserted will be sterilized and numbed. A small incision is then made where the tube is inserted and passed into the fractured area using an imaging device to guide it to the exact vertebra. Once at the site, the balloon is inflated to create an opening for the cement. The balloon is then removed, and special orthopedic cement is injected into the opening. Once the opening is filled, all tubes are removed, pressure is applied to the incision area and it is covered with a bandage.
You will feel a slight sting when the needles are inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. If you receive sedation, you will feel relaxed and sleepy and may or may not be partially awake during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the needle is inserted, but no serious pain.
You will be at bedrest for two hours after the procedure. Be sure to arrange a ride home from the procedure if you live close by. Otherwise, it is recommended that you have someone drive you to a nearby hotel so that you do not have to sit in the car for a long period of time immediately following the procedure. You may feel mild pain. This usually goes away after a few of days. In fact, many patients feel relief from their VCF pain within two days—and some immediately.
Before scheduling an appointment, you will need to get a referral from your physician. Once you have a referral, you can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm.