If you’re among the 750,000 Americans who suffer vertebra fractures or a thinning of the vertebrae annually, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty.
Pain management specialist Jose De La Torre, MD of New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine in Wesley Chapel, FL, is an expert in performing kyphoplasty. He has helped countless patients reclaim active, pain-free lives with this simple procedure.
Here, Dr. De La Torre explains everything you need to know about restoring the functionality of your back using kyphoplasty.
Why you may need kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure aimed at easing pain and mobility issues caused by vertebral compression fractures. Commonly caused by factors such as osteoporosis, cancer, or traumatic injuries, these fractures occur when one or more vertebrae in your spine crack or fracture.
Weakened vertebrae can’t sufficiently support your body. Often, the result is a stooped posture and decreased mobility. Even subtle movements can lead to persistent discomfort at the fracture site.
How does kyphoplasty provide relief?
Dr. De La Torre performs kyphoplasty by injecting a fast-setting bone material directly into the fracture to restore strength and function. The bone cement acts like an internal cast for the fracture.
Following kyphoplasty, many patients report immediate relief from pain associated with vertebral compression fractures. Mobility improves as the spine's structural support returns.
Success with kyphoplasty is higher when performed before the damaged vertebra heals into an abnormal shape and size, typically within two to three months of the fracture.
What's involved in the kyphoplasty procedure?
This outpatient procedure takes about an hour, depending on the number of vertebrae involved. Using X-ray imaging for guidance, Dr. De La Torre inserts a small tube (catheter) into the damaged vertebra through a tiny incision near the targeted treatment area. The catheter is then used to position a medical balloon that, once inflated, restores the vertebra to its normal height.
Next, he injects bone cement into the cavity created by the balloon, restoring the normal strength and function of the vertebra. The bone cement takes about five minutes to harden completely. After achieving satisfactory results, Dr. De La Torre removes the catheter and closes the incision, usually with a bandage.
Local anesthetic and light sedation ensure a pain-free kyphoplasty procedure, with monitoring for a short time afterward before returning home on the same day. Dr. De La Torre may recommend a rehab program to restore normal mobility and strength and address the underlying cause of the fracture.
To learn whether you’re a candidate for kyphoplasty, schedule an evaluation with us today. Call New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine in Wesley Chapel, FL, or request an appointment using our online booking tool. We serve patients living in North Tampa, Land O' Lakes, Lutz, and Zephyrhills.