Guide to Advanced Surgery for The Spine
Kyphoplasty performed by our world-class spine surgeons can be one of the best treatment options that are available to you. The major pain you are feeling now will go away quickly after the surgery is done.
The dedicated and caring medical staff at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will make sure that your recovery is fast, this way, your back pain disappears in a relatively short time and you are ready to enjoy life again at its fullest.
The spine is comprised of 33 bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae give protection to the spinal cord and the nerve roots that lead out to the body's nervous system, and they also provide the body's main structural support.
Bones can become fragile over time. When lack of calcium causes the bones to weaken and become less dense, the patient developed what is called osteoporosis. When this happens, the bone can become weaker, and pressure can cause it to crack. Compression fractures in the spine can be very painful and cause major problems in mobility and general health.
When a compression fracture occurs in a vertebra, one treatment option is an operation called kyphoplasty. In kyphoplasty, a surgical balloon holds the fracture open while a surgeon injects cement into the crack. This heals the fracture and hopefully reduces the prevalence of back-related symptoms.
Before the procedure, a doctor will administer either local anesthesia (you're awake, but the area where the procedure is being performed is numbed so you don't feel it) or general anesthesia (you're unconscious during the procedure).
Once the anesthesia takes hold, the doctor will insert a needle into the space in the spine that needs to be set together.
The balloon will be inflated to create space for the cement to be placed.
The cement is then injected so that the vertebra doesn't collapse again. In 30 minutes the cement sets in.
You may spend a night in the hospital, or you may go home on the same day, depending on your specific case.
The pain that accompanies spinal compression fractures often goes away quickly after surgery. Patients are often able to move around better and don't have to take as many pain medications.
When your back pain gets better, your quality of life improves in several ways:
- Activities that were enjoyed before symptoms commenced may be resumed
- Day-to-day comfort will likely be higher
- Productivity at work may increase
- Additional effects of pain—sleep disruptions, distraction, etc.—may decrease
In general, quality of life is likely to improve after a kyphoplasty procedure.
For the first day, it's best to stay in bed except to visit the restroom. After that, you will slowly resume your normal activities, including work, over a period of weeks. At least six weeks should go by before you attempt anything strenuous or try to lift anything heavy. Your doctor will provide you with specific post-operative instructions, and you should follow them closely.
In any surgery, there are risks, including bleeding, infection, and lack of results. With spine surgery, there is also the rare chance of nerve damage, as well as the chance that symptoms may come back in the future.