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What Is Kyphoplasty and How Is It Used to Treat Spinal Compression Fractures?

Kyphoplasty might sound like a strange planet from a science fiction novel, but it’s actually one of the most effective procedures for treating spinal compression fractures. 

Dr. Raul Lopez and his expert staff at West Texas Pain Institute specialize in treating your spinal compression fracture with kyphoplasty and are dedicated to making you feel prepared and comfortable as you head into your appointment. 

Our team also understands that considering a new treatment for an area as sensitive as the spine can fill you with questions. Below is some helpful information for your review. 

Spinal compression fracture overview

Understanding kyphoplasty begins with knowing that it treats. Spinal compression fractures are most commonly a result of growing older, living with cancer, or developing osteoporosis which causes the bones (vertebrae) in your spine to soften, weaken, and become thin. 

As your bones begin to deteriorate, they become more susceptible to fractures. These fractures can happen if you bend to lift a heavy object, trip or slip, or, in serious cases, sneeze or cough. 

The more fractures you get, the harder it is to support your spine. Eventually, your bones collapse. Your vertebrae become wedge-shaped and you can lose inches off your height. Worst of all, you can feel severe pain. To treat this painful condition, you need kyphoplasty to not only alleviate the pain but correct the damage.

Kyphoplasty basics

When your spine and the bones around it collapse due to spinal compression fractures, your posture changes. This change in posture is known as kyphosis. Kyphoplasty, therefore, addresses your kyphosis (kypho) by reforming the bones in your spine (plasty). 

To begin, Dr. Lopez has you lie comfortably on your stomach. He then cleans your skin and injects a local anesthetic. A special imaging technology, fluoroscopy, uses a dye to guide Dr. Lopez’s needle into your spine. 

Once he has found the exact area that needs to be treated, Dr. Lopez inserts a small balloon into your fractured bone. This balloon gently inflates to restore your spine’s natural shape. The balloon is then deflated, and Dr. Lopez fills the space with bone cement to ensure your spine maintains its natural shape and is better supported. 

Recovery time is very minimal. You’ll need someone to take you home following the procedure and should avoid your normal routine for at least a couple of days. If you’ve had more extensive kyphoplasty and received treatment on more than one vertebra, you might need to stay overnight. After resting for a few days, you can start to resume your normal activity, but it’s best to refrain from strenuous activity for at least 6-8 weeks. 

Back pain can be debilitating, but if you let it go untreated, the consequences could be severe. Don’t spend another day suffering from aches and pains. Call our office or schedule an appointment online to request a consultation or get more information.

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