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If you've experienced a painful spinal compression fracture, kyphoplasty can help you find lasting relief.

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that treats spinal compression fractures. These fractures occur primarily in weakened spinal vertebrae (either in the thoracic or lumbar regions) as a result of osteoporosis. The goal of kyphoplasty is to reduce pain from the fracture, stabilize the vertebra, and restore the vertebra to its normal height.

What to Expect from Kyphoplasty

The patient will lie face down while a surgeon makes a small incision over the affected area. Using X-ray guidance, the specialist will insert a narrow tube, then a balloon tamp, into one side of the fractured vertebra. Your specialist will inflate the tamp to create an open cavity inside the bone and to restore the vertebra's height. He or she will then deflate and remove the balloon tamp before injecting the cavity with PMMA, a type of bone cement. Once the cavity is full, the cement will quickly harden and create an internal cast.

Your surgeon may repeat this process on the other side of the vertebra to make sure everything is uniform. Then, he or she will close the incision, and the patient will stay on the operating table while the cement hardens (which usually takes about five minutes). Most patients can go home the same day as the procedure.

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