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Spinal compression fractures are a painful and often debilitating consequence of advanced osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that restores pain-free movement.

Orthopaedic surgeons, Steve Paragioudakis, MD, and Marc Menkowitz, MD, at New Jersey’s Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine (CFRS), often recommend kyphoplasty as a relatively quick and highly effective treatment for vertebral fractures.

What is a compression fracture?

Spinal compression fractures occur when one or more of the vertically stacked bones (vertebrae) in your spine collapses.

Depending on where the fracture occurs, the resulting spinal misalignment and instability frequently cause a hunched or stooped posture (kyphosis), loss of height, significantly reduced mobility, and moderate-to-severe chronic pain related to pinched or compressed spinal nerves.

These fractures are most often related to loss of bone density due to osteoporosis but can occur as a result of trauma or spinal tumors, as well. 

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that uses advanced technology to repair the fractured vertebral body. This corrects the spinal misalignment, relieves pain, and restores mobility.

Your CFRS surgeon uses intraoperative fluoroscopy to provide images of the surgical site, which is accessed via a large-bore needle puncture rather than a long incision. We insert instruments used during the procedure through the puncture.

During kyphoplasty, we insert a small medical balloon through the puncture and gently inflated it at the fracture site. This lifts the bone back into place. Our spine specialist then fills the resulting cavity with biofriendly bone cement that takes just a few minutes to dry. This restores shape, height, and strength to the damaged vertebra. 

The procedure is quick, taking less than an hour for one fracture and slightly more if you have multiple fractures. It’s an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia, meaning you sleep through kyphoplasty.

How does kyphoplasty compare to other treatments?

Standard treatment for compression fractures typically includes physical therapy, bracing, and oral medications to reduce pain. 

Unfortunately, compression fractures cause significant discomfort and can result in disability that requires nearly complete bed rest as your mobility declines. 

Kyphoplasty provides a welcome alternative. 

What happens after kyphoplasty?

Most patients are awake and mobile within an hour of kyphoplasty.

Before sending you home, we provide detailed instructions regarding care of the puncture site and activity restrictions. We typically recommend resting for the remainder of the day as you recover fully from the anesthesia.

Otherwise, the results of kyphoplasty are immediate and long-lasting, including:

  • Return of upright posture and height
  • Restored spinal stability
  • Dramatic and immediate pain relief
  • Significantly improved mobility

For optimal results, kyphoplasty is best performed before the bone completes its natural healing process, typically within two to three months. 

Don’t delay treatment for spinal compression fractures. Schedule an evaluation at CFRS today by calling the nearest office or requesting an appointment online.

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