Osteoporosis is on the rise, and so, too, are the compression fractures caused by weakened bones. Thankfully, for those who are dealing with a spinal fracture, there is a simple, minimally invasive surgical procedure called kyphoplasty. Of course, the first thing people typically ask is, “What is kyphoplasty?” That question is followed closely by, “How long does it take to get over kyphoplasty surgery?” We’ve got the answers you need to move forward with healing your back.
What is a kyphoplasty procedure?
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is designed to end the pain caused by a spinal fracture and stabilize the bone. It involves “inflating a small balloon in the vertebrae, which creates a void in the bone for cement to sit in,” said Dr. Mark C. Valente, Board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon and founder and Medical Director of DISC Spine Institute, a leader in minimally invasive back treatments and surgical procedures. “After the balloon is inflated, it is then deflated and removed. Next, the cement is placed through the small needles. The cement hardens and stabilizes inside the vertebra.” The procedure reduces or eliminates the pain of the vertebral fracture through this stabilization.
There is a bonus benefit to kyphoplasty, which is that it can actually help make patients taller if they have lost height because of their condition. DISC Spine Institute notes that “In some studies, kyphoplasty was shown to restore up to 93 percent of lost height due to compression fractures.”
Procedures on the rise
While surgery for compression fractures is still relatively rare, it is growing given the increasing numbers of patients suffering from osteoporosis and associated conditions.
“As we get older, our bones thin, and our bone strength decreases. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become very weak and more likely to break. It often develops unnoticed over many years, with no symptoms or discomfort until a bone breaks,” said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Fractures caused by osteoporosis most often occur in the spine. These spinal fractures — called vertebral compression fractures — occur in nearly 700,000 patients each year. They are almost twice as common as other fractures typically linked to osteoporosis, such as broken hips and wrists.”
If you have osteoporosis and have suffered a compression fracture, you are probably wondering whether you need surgery. Seeing a spine doctor to properly diagnose your condition and prescribe the proper treatment is critical so your condition doesn’t become more serious.
How long does it take to get over kyphoplasty surgery?
Spine doctors and former back pain sufferers turn to minimally invasive procedures like kyphoplasty because it is typically quick and easy to tolerate, resulting in minimal pain. The procedure involves tiny incisions with no sutures, and “pain reduction or elimination is immediate,” said Medscape, who outlined the effectiveness of kyphoplasty and another similar procedure, vertebroplasty, for treating vertebral compression fractures. Also, “The risk of complications is low,” as is true for minimally invasive procedures to address chronic back pain in general.
Kyphoplasty typically requires only a local anesthetic and can take as little as 15 minutes. Most patients go home the same day, however, if more than one vertebrae is involved, there may be an overnight hospital stay.
Most patients also experience an easy recovery. Ask them, “How long does it take to get over kyphoplasty surgery?” and they will probably gush about how quickly they felt like themselves again after the procedure.
Kyphoplasty generally has “a faster recovery time because your surgeon makes only a small cut in your back to do the procedure,” said WebMD. You might have some soreness in your back for a day or two at the spot where the surgery was done. Putting an ice pack on the area can bring some relief. You may also be able to take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Often, back pain will start to ease up 24 to 48 hours after the operation. Your doctor will probably encourage you to go back to your normal activities as soon as possible.”
Ready to get help for your vertebral fracture and learn more about: How long does it take to get over kyphoplasty surgery? Visit DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain today. Minimally invasive surgical techniques mean treating chronic back pain is easier than ever, with outpatient treatments, small incisions, and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.