If you have a vertebral compression fracture you may need kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Pain management specialist Dr. Jeff M. Arthur offers this restorative surgical procedure to patients in Kingwood, Texas, and the surrounding area. Call the office today or book an appointment online to find out more about kyphoplasty.

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What is osteoporosis?

The bone disease osteoporosis develops when your body loses too much bone and/or makes too little bone. You experience weak and brittle bones as a result. Osteoporosis can cause a loss in height and put you at risk for fractures from minor falls or injuries. Osteoporosis also puts the vertebrae of your spine at risk of fracture and degeneration.

What are the consequences of osteoporosis in the spine?

Fracture of the vertebral body usually results is significant and sudden pain of the mid or low back. It is not typically accompanied by leg symptoms. Procedures such as Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can quickly stabilize the fracture and decrease not only the pain from the broken bone but also decrease inflammation caused by the fracture to the surrounding tissue. A vertrebral fracture that is not treated can lead to:

  • Chronic pain
  • Reduced lung capacity
  • Loss of daily function and reduced mobility
  • Challenges sleeping

Once you’ve experienced one fracture due to osteoporosis, you’re five times more likely to experience another.

What is Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure done with local anesthetic and light sedation. A small incision about 1/8 of an inch long is made and a tube is passed into the vertebral body. This is followed by directly injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebra (vertebroplasty) or inserting a balloon to gently inflate the compressed bone (kyphoplasty). This allows some restoration of the height of the vertebra. The balloon is removed and the cement is then injected into the fractured bone. The cement hardens quickly and stabilizes the bone allowing a decrease in pain.

Prior to injecting the material, Dr. Arthur inserts a special type of balloon to gently inflate the fractured vertebra. This helps the bone regain height and restores the natural look of your spine.

Not all people with compression fractures of the spine are candidates for kyphoplasty, and it’s most successful when it’s completed within eight weeks of the fracture occurring. 

Vertebral compression fractures can also be caused by:

  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Hemangiomas

What is recovery from kyphoplasty like?

You may experience some immediate pain relief but it may take several days to feel significant pain reduction or elimination. You can go back to your daily activities almost immediately with some restrictions. Dr. Arthur does recommend you take it easy and not participate in intense activity for about six weeks — this includes heavy lifting.

If you have osteoporosis and suspect a fracture in your spine, consult Dr. Jeff M. Arthur right away to learn if you’re a candidate for kyphoplasty. Call the office or book an appointment online.