Understanding Kyphoplasty to Treat Spinal Compression Fractures

In some cases, spinal compression fractures can be treated with nonsurgical remedies. But depending on the severity of your fracture and other variables, there may be a need for kyphoplasty.

Dr. Kenneth Varley is a pain management specialist who understands the necessity for kyphoplasty in certain cases and wants to help his patients understand how kyphoplasty might benefit them. Here’s how the procedure works as well as why you might need it and what to expect if you do.

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that patients often turn to when issues like kyphosis, a curving of your back, and other side effects of spinal compression fractures can’t be managed through nonsurgical means. A kyphoplasty works to reduce the pain caused by a spinal compression fracture.

A typical kyphoplasty follows several steps:

How will kyphoplasty help me?

Choosing kyphoplasty helps you if you’re experiencing persistent pain from a spinal compression fracture. This procedure can help you become more active in your day-to-day-routine and reduce the pain you experience when you bear moderate weight — such as picking up a bag of groceries or a suitcase — or when you get in and out of bed.

Who are the best candidates for kyphoplasty?

You’re likely a good candidate for kyphoplasty if your pain continues after the spinal fracture should have healed. This usually takes about three weeks. Complete pain evaluation is performed at Southern Pain Specialists including diagnostic selective nerve blocks at the fracture site to confirm the location. Other pain generators can sometimes mimic the pain of the compression fracture. This can be helpful to determine if you will benefit from the procedure if the fracture has been there a while.

Finally, if your vertebra collapse is calculated between 30%-70%, kyphoplasty is often a helpful option, as the procedure can restore some of the lost height in your vertebrae after a fracture.

Is kyphoplasty safe?

Studies show that kyphoplasty is a safe treatment option for spinal compression fractures. Although these fractures can sometimes heal on their own, persistent pain is a sign that something is wrong, and it’s often best to seek a treatment like kyphoplasty, rather than to let the issue heal incorrectly. Waiting or delaying treatment can predispose to conditions brought on by bedrest such as blood clots or pneumonia.

Do you have more questions about kyphoplasty?

We would be happy to answer them, as well as to help you set up a consultation with Dr. Varley. You can call 205-512-6420 or book your appointment on our website. When booking online please remember that the appointment isn’t set until confirmed by telephone. At Southern Pain Specialists, we can help you deal with your pain in the best, safest ways available.

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