What is Kyphoplasty and How Can it Help with Pain?

February 3, 2018 – Bronx, NY – Kyphoplasty is an elective pain interventional procedure performed by Dr Sireen Gopal and his colleagues at NYSS that is designed to achieve the following goals in patients suffering from painful vertebral compression fractures in most cases for osteoporosis in the elderly.

  1. Reduce or eliminate back pain, avoid Opioid Use in these patients
  2. Prevent further collapse of the fracture, thus avoiding an increase in spinal deformity and progression of postural problems
  3. Restore normal spinal alignment, thus improving the patient’s posture and function
  4. Limit or avoid ER visits and hospital admission

Kyphoplasty is minimally invasive, percutanuous (requires no surgical incision), and can be performed under local or mild to moderate monitored anesthesia as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. The duration of the procedure is usually between 30 to 45 minutes. When performed for the right indication and patient, it is a procedure providing significant pain relief and improvement of physical & mental function for our patients.

Description of Kyphoplasty:
A Kyphoplasty procedure is performed as follows:

  • The patient is lying prone (on his/her belly) on the procedure table, sedated and with local anesthesia
  • Through two tiny skin openings in the back (each opening about 1/6 or an inch long) specialized tubes are inserted directly into the fractured vertebra. This is done under guidance by a specialized X-ray imaging to allow precise placement.
  • Through each tube, a special balloon is inserted into the collapsed vertebra. Once the balloons are in place, they are sequentially inflated with a liquid under X-ray guidance with the goal of re-establishing the original height of the collapsed vertebra.
  • The balloons are then deflated, leaving an empty cavity within the bone that has now been expanded.
  • At this stage, highly viscous bone cement is inserted into the vertebra through both tubes under X-ray guidance to assure the cement is not leaking out of the vertebra. The cement hardens within minutes.

The patient is allowed to get out of bed and walk as soon as he or she is awake. Typically patients are discharged from the hospital the next day and the vast majority of patients require no strong pain medications by 3 to 4 days after the surgery. Physical therapy, when needed for strengthening of the spinal muscles, can usually be safely initiated within two weeks following the kyphoplasty procedure.

New York Spine & Sport is a leader in Kyphoplasty procedures in the Bronx, Westchester, and midtown Manhattan.  Contact Dr. Sireen Gopal and his team at NYSS now to learn more.

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