Kyphosis is a condition which causes a rounding of the spine in the mid to upper back. This can be caused by several factors. We tend to think of a rounded upper back as a by-product of advancing age. It’s often associated with older women and osteoporosis. But the truth is that kyphosis can strike much younger people.
When the upper portion of the spine has been subjected to pressure from this abnormality, fractures in the vertebrae can occur, as well as severe spinal compression. In turn, a shortening of the vertebrae is observed. This can result in pain and loss of mobility.
Kyphoplasty is the surgical procedure most commonly deployed to correct kyphosis, especially in advanced cases, which can affect functions like breathing. But it’s not indicated in every instance. In fact, when kyphosis is detected early on in its development, it’s most appropriately treated by physical therapy or bracing.
Let’s explore the question “what is kyphoplasty” and find out more about it.
A minimally invasive procedure.
That’s the first part of the answer and one of the most important. When people think about back surgery, they immediately tend to believe that these procedures are uniformly complex and dangerous. With kyphoplasty, the opposite is true.
A small incision is made at the site of the affected vertebrae and a hollow needle inserted. A balloon is then inserted in this needle and inflated. That’s the kyphoplasty portion of this two-stage procedure. The second stage is called vertebroplasty. In this phase of the procedure, medical grade bone cement is injected into the inflated balloon. This serves to restore the height of the vertebrae, relieving pain and restoring mobility.
The entire procedure is usually accomplished within the space of an hour.
The incisions used in kyphoplasty are so small that no stitches are required. A bandage is used to cover the entry point. The patient is usually sent home within several hours of surgery, so this is an outpatient arrangement.
If there are complications, or several vertebrae are implicated, patients may have to stay overnight for observation. By and large, though, kyphoplasty is a reasonably simple intervention that sees patients recovering in from 2 days to a week of surgery.
Dr. Joshua Rovner is an acknowledged expert in the field of kyphosis treatment and a range of therapeutic responses to treat it. If you suspect you may be suffering from kyphosis, remember that early detection is crucial to minimizing the progression of this condition.
With early detection, conservative therapies like the ones described earlier in this post may be employed and kyphoplasty avoided altogether.
Progressive Spine is a medical clinic dedicated to the health of your spine. At Progressive Spine, you’re a person, not a case. We treat all our patients as unique individuals with unique needs. Our philosophy is that your care begins the moment you walk through the door and are greeted by our compassionate, caring staff.
At Progressive Spine, we’re proud of our work. Contact us to let us know how we can help.