If you suffer from a weakened spine or fractured vertebrae that are causing pain, this outpatient procedure may be able to help.
What is a Kyphoplasty?
Kyphoplasty is an innovative, minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure proven to strengthen the vertebrae of your spine and treat vertebral compression fractures, as well as significantly improve the pain caused by them.
This cutting edge procedure has helped people when conservative treatments failed to provide adequate relief. By injecting a complex matrix directly into the vertebrae, kyphoplasty not only stabilizes the fracture, it offers a number of additional benefits:
Corrects spinal deformity
Kyphoplasty is now an outpatient procedure that can be performed right in your doctor’s office with minimal sedation. Not only can this amazing treatment repair fractures of the spine, it can restore height and improve pain.
Kyphoplasty is the absolute definition of “minimally-invasive.” This truly amazing procedure is used to strengthen weakened spines and repair vertebral compression fractures.
These fractures are most commonly caused by:
Pain doctors, orthopeadic surgeons, neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists around the world frequently use kyphoplasty. This groundbreaking procedure has been proven to improve pain and restore vertebral height and vertical alignment damaged by the collapse of the vertebrae caused by a compression fracture. Patients with compression fractures can show signs of kyphosis (or hunchback) – this can be extremely debilitating and even embarrassing for those experiencing it.
Kyphoplasty is a truly remarkable procedure with many potential life-changing benefits.
It is minimally invasive, meaning small wounds and short recovery time.
It is performed on an outpatient basis, so hospitalization and the costly bills that tend to follow can be avoided.
Most patients experience immediate pain relief and are quickly able to return to their normal daily activities.
Future fractures may be avoided.
By stabilizing the fractured vertebra, the onset or worsening of severe spinal deformity is prevented.
Kyphoplasty is also referred to as “balloon kyphoplasty” or “balloon assisted vertebroplasty.” It is an outpatient procedure that involves inserting a strong inflatable balloon through a small biopsy needle into fractured vertebrae. When the balloon is inflated, a space is created within the center of the vertebrae, potentially restoring lost height in some cases where the vertebrae is compressed due to fracture. Once the space is created inside the vertebral body, a compound consisting of acrylic cement and an organic, bone-stimulating matrix is injected using low pressure. The needle is placed using x-ray guidance to ensure proper positioning. The matrix dries quickly and forms a support structure within the bone to provide stabilization and strength.
This is a one time treatment.
Is a Kyphoplasty Right for Me?
If you suffer from osteoporosis and have been told the bones in your spine are week, or you have had a vertebral compression fracture, this treatment may be an option of you. Kyphoplasty should only be performed by a physician board-certified in pain management, interventional radiology, or orthopedic surgery.
Contact the Ainsworth Institute to set up an initial evaluation to find out if you are a candidate for kyphoplasty.
Procedure - Patient Details
Kyphoplasty is performed under local anesthesia. The needle makes a small puncture through the skin which is easily covered with a small bandage when finished. For added comfort during the procedure, light sedation is offered.
Conventionally, kyphplasty requires two needles with two balloons to complete the procedure at each vertebra. New medical advances are available whereby kyphoplasty can now be performed with just one needle rather than two. Using a highly advanced maneuverable balloon, our physicians can offer the same results in half the time and through just one skin puncture.
As with any medical or surgical procedure, there is always a risk of potential complication. Kyphoplasty is considered an appropriate non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure for patients suffering from back pain. Although there are potential risks, a number of published studies have established kyphoplasty as a safe and effective method for the treatment of painful vertebral compression fractures with a low incidence of complications.
Some of the risks associated can be produced from a leak of the acrylic cement matrix outside of the vertebral body. Many of the risks and complications are not related to the procedure itself, but the patient’s general health; severe complications are extremely rare. Bleeding, infection, numbness, tingling, headache and paralysis may ensue due to a misplaced needle or cement. By using radiographic guidance to position the needle and cement, our doctors can ensure proper placement of both and substantially reduce these associated risks.
To discuss the risks relating to your specific case, schedule and appointment to speak with one of our doctors in person.
Evidence of Performance
For many, vertebral compression fractures are unavoidable. The incidence of a fracture due to osteoporosis can be decreased with a balanced diet, regular exercise, calcium & vitamin D supplements, and medications like bisphosphonates (i.e. Fosamax or Boniva). Following these suggestions may also reduce the likelihood of additional fractures even if one is already being treated for current ones.
This procedure provides therapeutic benefit by significantly reducing pain and improving mobility in patients with vertebral fractures. There are no shortage of studies and publications that not only support the use of kyphoplasty, but document its efficacy in treating painful compression fractures.
In a 2006 study by Shindle, kyphoplasty was shown to improve height reduction and accounted for more than 80% of height restoration lost from vertebral compression fractures. Moreover, kyphoplasty also showed that 90.7% of fractures improved following the procedure.
Hitwashi et al published a report in 2007 noting that 95% of people treated with kyphoplasty showed partial or complete pain relief immediately. In the same year, The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) convened a council of some of the most well respected pain medicine physicians from across the country to develop an evidence-based medicine practice guideline for the management of chronic spinal pain with interventional techniques. The consensus guidelines stated there is moderate evidence of relief and improvement with kyphoplasty. In 2006, Taylor et al published a review of over 70 peer-reviewed publications reporting on the successes of kyphoplasty. He found Level III evidence to support this modality for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures and concluded kyphoplasty “is more effective than conventional medical management…”
The only studies that question the validity or efficacy of this truly life changing procedure are flawed and poorly designed. Physicians and scientists have published studies upon studies documenting kyphoplasty’s efficacy.
 De Negri P, Tirri T, Paternoster G, et al. Treatment of painful osteoporotic or traumatic vertebral compression fractures by percutaneous vertebral augmentation procedures: a nonrandomized comparison between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Clin J Pain. 2007 Jun;23(5):425-30
 Hiwatashi A, Westesson PL. Vertebroplasty for osteoporotic fractures with spinal canal compromise. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2007 Apr;28(4):690-2 PMID: 17416822
 DaFonseca K, Baier M, Grafe I, et al. Balloon kyphoplasty in the therapy of vertebral fractures. Orthopade. 2006 Oct;35(10):1101-9.
 Shindle MK, Gardner MJ, Koob J, et al. Vertebral height restoration in osteoporotic compression fractures: kyphoplasty balloon tamp is superior to postural correction alone. Osteoporosis Int. 2006 Dec;17(12):1815- 9.
 Boswell MV, Trescot AM, Datta S, et al. Interventional techniques: evidence-based practice guidelines in the management of chronic spinal pain. American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. Pain Physician. 2007 Jan;10(1):7-111 PMID: 17256025
 Taylor RS, Taylor RJ, Fritzell P: Balloon kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty for vertebral compression fractures. Spine. 31:2747-2755 2006
 Bono CM, Heggeness M, Mick C, et al.: North American Spine Society. Newly released vertebroplasty randomized controlled trials. a tale of two trials Spine J. 10:241-243 2010