Here at the PA Vascular Institute, we want to inform our patients living in King of Prussia, Lehigh Valley, and Philadelphia, PA, and beyond about spinal fractures. We use non-invasive methods and cutting-edge technology to help our patients feel comfortable and recover as quickly as possible to get back to living their lives.
A spinal fracture, also known as a vertebral fracture or even a broken back, is a fracture that affects the vertebrae of the spinal column. A majority of spinal fractures come with a significant risk of spinal cord injury, or the worsening of an already injured spine if the fracture is unstable and likely to change alignment without internal or external fixation.
One procedure that can remedy a spinal fracture is called Kyphoplasty (another is called vertebroplasty). This procedure corrects the bone deformity and alleviates the pain associated with spinal compression fractures.
Kyphoplasty goes as follows:
- A small, half-inch incision is made in the back where the doctor will insert a narrow tube, with a balloon at the tip, into the damaged vertebrae. An imaging technique called fluoroscopy is used to guide the tube into the correct position and help ensure the accuracy of the procedure. The tube creates a path through the back into the fractured area through the pedicle of the involved vertebrae.
- With the use of X-ray images, the balloon is carefully and gently inflated. This technique elevates the fracture, returning the pieces to the correct position while creating a cavity in which the liquid bone cement can be injected.
- The balloon is then deflated and removed. A bone cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is injected into the cavity using specially designed instruments under low pressure.
- The cement mixture hardens in about ten minutes, stabilizing the bone.
It’s normal for you to want to get back to your regular lifestyle. Kyphoplasty has a faster recovery time than other procedures because your doctor makes only a small cut in your back in order to operate. If you were to get spinal fusion surgery instead, the cut would be larger and therefore take more time to heal.
What Happens After The Procedure?
Once the operation is complete, you’ll be taken to a recovery room. The medical staff will watch over you for an hour or two while the anesthesia wears off. You’ll even be able to leave the hospital on the very same day, although you won’t be able to drive yourself home so plan a ride accordingly.
Once you’re back home, you may experience some soreness in your back for a day or so in the area where the procedure was done. You can administer an ice pack on the area to relieve some of the pain. Our doctors will evaluate your situation and determine what type of pain reliever should be administered.
At the PA Vascular Institute, we are proud to serve patients in King of Prussia, Lehigh Valley, and Philadelphia, PA. If you’ve suffered a compression fracture and are in need of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, please contact us right away. Our cutting-edge technology and non-invasive techniques will have you back on your feet in no time.