Kyphoplasty in Greenville

The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that are beautifully designed to support your body throughout your life. But as we get older, the accumulated damage to our spine might result in fractures in our vertebrae. When this occurs, the resulting pain and symptoms can be incapacitating.

Most people tend to blame aging as the root cause of back pain. However, one of the most common causes of back pain is vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), which are caused by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, or “porous bone,” is a gradual disease that weakens bones, and could lead to VCFs. These fractures often result in chronic pain, height loss, Dowager’s hump, etc. along with a downward spiral in the quality of life.

If your doctor diagnosed VCF, they may recommend a minimally invasive kyphoplasty procedure to help address the condition. This is a state-of-the-art procedure that involves using precise instruments to target the affected vertebra, allowing the patient to quickly return to their daily activities.

The Greenville, SC pain management team at Carolina Spine & Pain is committed to helping patients deal with spinal injuries and similar conditions. Our team has extensive experience in conducting kyphoplasty in Greenville, SC. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with VCF or are experiencing back pain that affects the quality of your life, you can count on us. Call us today at 864-535-0144 and let us help you find a solution.

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What Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty, also referred to as vertebral augmentation, is a spinal procedure that utilizes fluoroscopy guidance, where special bone cement is injected into a fractured vertebra through a small hole in the skin to help relieve pain caused by a compression fracture.

Just as with vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty involves the injection of special bone cement into the vertebrae, with the additional step of creating space for the treatment using a balloon-like device. Kyphoplasty can help to restore damaged vertebrae and relieve pain in the process.

Your doctor may recommend kyphoplasty for certain spinal fractures and cancer-damaged vertebrae. In most cases, osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) will have caused the vertebrae to collapse or compress thereby causing pain or a hunched posture.

As a minimally invasive procedure, kyphoplasty usually involves the use of general anesthesia to allow the surgeon to reach the spinal cord using large needles instead of making an incision. With the use of continuous X-ray imaging during the process, the surgeon will insert the long needles into the vertebral crevices created by the fracture.

Using a pressurized liquid, the surgeon will then inflate a balloon into this gap to help restore the original height of the vertebra. They will then insert a second needle to inject a cement-like substance into the space created by this balloon. Great surgical precision and care will help ensure that the cement does not seep into the surrounding areas or onto any nearby nerves.

The cement will only require a short time to dry, and when it does, the surgeon will remove the needle from the body. As there are no incisions, the only closure required will be placing a bandage over the puncture marks. After spending a short time under observation in the recovery room, most patients will be cleared to return home the same day, with minimal pain experienced.

When Is Kyphoplasty Needed?

The risk of developing VCFs increases with age, and most cases are a result of low-energy injuries in osteoporitic patients. However, there are other possible causes of VCF including sports injuries, motor vehicle accident-related trauma, and spinal tumors.

Many people who suffer from VCF recover within three months without medical treatment to repair the fracture. A doctor may sometimes recommend a brace to restrict movement to allow the fracture to heal. But if the person has severe pain that does not respond to the non-surgical treatment, then kyphoplasty is an option. A doctor will walk you through the most suitable procedure for you depending on the type of vertebral compression you have.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are the most common procedures used to mend recent fractures. However, they are usually not used as a preventative technique, even for osteoporosis. They are also usually not recommended for herniated discs, the curvature of the spine due to scoliosis, or back arthritis.


kyphoplasty in Greenville SC concept doctor putting glue on spinal disc replica

How Does Kyphoplasty Work?

It’s normal to have questions about kyphoplasty in Greenville, SC. Here is what to expect at every stage of the kyphoplasty procedure.

Before the Procedure

Since kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure, your doctor will likely order some blood tests before the day of the surgery. Imaging tests like MRI or X-ray scans can help your surgeon see the area that needs repair.

During preparation, an intravenous line (IV) will be placed in a vein on your arm to deliver anesthesia. You might also receive anti-nausea and pain medications, along with antibiotics to help prevent infection. You will also be connected to pulse, heart, and blood pressure monitors.

Before the surgery, you should:

  • Inform your doctor about any medications, herbs, or vitamins that you might be taking because you might need to stop taking some before the procedure.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you could be or are pregnant
  • Discuss with your doctor about any bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you might have

Note that you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking after midnight the night prior to your kyphoplasty procedure. Be sure to also take any prescriptions your doctor advised and avoid ones they have asked you to avoid. You will be informed as to the appropriate appointment arrival time. Plan to have someone transport you home, as you will not be allowed to drive immediately post-procedure. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing.

During the Procedure

In the surgery room, you will be required to lie down on your stomach. If necessary, the area in which the needle will be inserted is shaved, and then cleaned and sterilized. A local anesthetic might be injected in the same place. Your surgeon will then perform the following steps.

The surgeon inserts a hollow needle (trocar) into your skin. Using fluoroscopy, which is a type of X-ray, will guide the needle through your muscles and lodge into the correct position in your bone.

Using live X-ray images, the surgeon will then insert a special balloon through the needle into the vertebrae. The balloon will then be inflated carefully and gently. As it inflates, the balloon elevates the fracture ideally returning the pieces into a normal position. This compacts the soft inner bone and creates the space needed for the bone cement.

Once the space is opened up, the balloon will then be removed, to allow for the bone cement mixture to be injected. The surgeon uses specially designed instruments to fill the cavity with this cement-like material known as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), under low pressure.

Once it’s injected, the needle is removed immediately as the bone cement hardens quickly and stabilizes the bone in the process.

The area is bandaged and since there were no incisions, stitches won’t be necessary. Your IV and monitoring equipment are then removed.

Most kyphoplasty procedures usually take less than an hour if only one vertebra is being treated.

After the Procedure

Following a successful procedure, you will be asked to stay in a recovery room for a short amount of time. You might be encouraged to get up and walk within an hour of the procedure. Expect some soreness around the area of treatment, which you can relieve easily with an ice pack. Generally speaking, you should be feeling better within 48 hours.

Keep in mind that the recovery process will vary from patient to patient. It’s therefore important to follow the specific recovery instructions provided by your doctor or surgeon. This is because they have a better understanding of your unique health history and any risk factors.

If you are only being treated for one vertebra, you may be released to go home later that day. However, you might be required to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring in case:

  • There were any complications.
  • The procedure involved more than one vertebra.
  • Your overall health isn’t that good.

Your doctor or surgeon will advise you on when to resume your normal activities and whether you need to take any bone-strengthening medications or supplements. You will most likely be asked to schedule a follow-up visit, which is meant to check on your recovery progress.

Here are some of the basic restrictions that you may be given by your doctor:

  • Do not drive for the next 24 hours following the procedure unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
  • Don’t lift anything that might cause you to strain your back for the next 24 hours.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for about four to six weeks.
  • Resume taking your medications based on your doctor’s instructions.

You can expect to return to your daily activities within a few days after the procedure. In case your job or leisure activities involve repetitive motions or heavy lifting that affects the back, such as stooping down to a garden or twisting to play tennis or golf, talk to your doctor to learn how you should do this safely.

Doctor with spine model discussing kyphoplasty in Greenville SC

Why Choose Carolina Spine & Pain for Kyphoplasty in Greenville, SC

Our Greenville, SC pain management doctors are fellowship-trained and board-certified in both pain management and anesthesiology. Our multidisciplinary approach enables us to effectively diagnose and treat a variety of pain conditions.

Our team works hard to help patients reclaim their lives from chronic pain. When it comes to our kyphoplasty procedures, we always perform them in a comfortable environment. You do not need to visit an interventional radiologist, the hospital, or the ER for your kyphoplasty procedure, especially given the costs that these visits may incur. We always aim to keep the costs affordable for all our patients.

Call Our Greenville Kyphoplasty Clinic Today!

At Carolina Spine & Pain, we are a multi-specialty spine care facility with a team of physicians who specialize in state-of-the-art pain management techniques and surgical procedures. One of the key reasons why our services are effective is that we stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and most innovative methods of treating pain and other spine-related conditions.

We take the time to learn about each patient as we know not two patients are the same. Every treatment we recommend is personalized to the unique needs of the patient and their requirements. If you have a spinal condition or are suffering from back pain that’s interfering with your life, visit us so we can find a solution for you.

One of the many treatment options we offer is kyphoplasty in Greenville, SC. You can get in touch with us at 864-535-0144!

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