What to Expect Before, During, and After Kyphoplasty

Vertebral compression fractures are a common result of weakening bones. Age, along with medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, can cause your bones to lose mass and get brittle over time. The bones in your spine, called vertebrae, are no exception to the dangers of bone loss.

Compression fractures develop when the bones in your spine get weak and break. Small fractures might not cause pain at first, but they can lead to increased spinal deterioration, restricted mobility, and significant pain. 

Severe vertebral compression fractures can make standing or sitting for long periods of time painful. They can also make moving and walking painful. If left untreated long enough, compression fractures can cause permanent spinal deformity and nerve damage.

Louis J. Raso, MD, PA, who practices in Jupiter, Florida, is an expert at diagnosing and treating vertebral compression fractures. He regularly performs kyphoplasty procedures and other treatments to lessen pain and restore spinal function. Read on to find out what happens before, during, and after kyphoplasty. 

What happens before kyphoplasty?

If you come to our office for back pain, Dr. Raso will examine your spine to determine what’s causing your pain. He’ll assess your range of motion and discuss your symptoms with you. 

Vertebral compression fractures can have similar symptoms to other back conditions, so he will likely order X-rays or an MRI to help confirm your diagnosis. In some cases, he may perform a bone density test and take blood work. 

Dr. Raso will also evaluate your spine to locate the fracture and identify how severe it is. If you have a serious, painful compression fracture that has developed in the last few months, he may recommend kyphoplasty. 

What happens during kyphoplasty?

When you come in for kyphoplasty, our team will prepare you for surgery. You’ll lay on your stomach during the procedure, and we’ll administer local or general anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain.

Once the anesthesia takes effect, Dr. Raso will make a small incision along your spine to reach your fractured vertebrae. With live X-ray imaging to guide him, he’ll use a needle to inject a small balloon into the vertebrae and carefully inflate it to restore the damaged vertebrae to its original height. 

Adding height with a balloon will increase space in your spinal canal and help prevent spinal deformity. Dr. Raso will then fill the space by injecting special bone cement to stabilize your spine. The cement will harden quickly, and Dr. Raso will conclude your surgery. If you’re getting only one vertebra treated, the procedure should take less than one hour.

What happens after kyphoplasty?

Immediately following your kyphoplasty, you’ll be moved to a recovery room for the anesthesia to wear off. Most kyphoplasties are done in an outpatient setting, which means you’ll go home the same day.

It’s not unusual to feel some soreness in your back where Dr. Raso accessed your spine, but this should fade in a few days. Many patients notice that they have significantly less back pain immediately following the procedure than they did before surgery.

Be sure to follow Dr. Raso’s recommendations for recovery, including any follow-up appointments. You should also avoid strenuous activity to allow your spine time to heal.

If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s time to do something about it. Book an appointment online or over the phone with the office of Louis J. Raso, MD, PA today.

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