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What is a Kyphoplasty?
A kyphoplasty is a common surgical procedure that is used to correct vertebral compression fractures, which often result from osteoporosis.
The spine is a complex structure with a variety of components and abilities. When our spine becomes compromised, it can greatly affect our ability to complete the activities that we are so accustomed to doing. There are a multitude of causes that can lead to a compromised spine, with a number of conditions that can arise because of these causes. One major cause lies in the simple fact that as we age, the spine ages right along with us. Just as the skin gets dry and less elastic with age, so does the spine. With the advance in years, the structures and tissues of the spine can break down, compress, or become unstable. Although it is likely that the spine will deteriorate simply from normal wear and tear, there are a number of diseases and medical conditions that can accelerate or worsen this degradation.
Osteoporosis is one of the main reasons for spinal degradation, leading to a loss of bone density and stability, and often resulting in breaks or fractures. Other possible causes of vertebral fragility and breaks include: metastatic tumors (cancer spread from another area of the body), multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer), and specified vascular tumors. Compression fractures of the vertebrae are a leading outcome of these destabilizing conditions.
A compression fracture occurs when instability and low bone density actually cause our spinal vertebrae to crumble, typically on the anterior side of the spine. With a compromised spine, even a cough or lifting a heavy object can lead to these breaks. Resultant symptoms of these fractures could include any of the following: localized pain, limited mobility, enhanced pain during movement, and the development of spinal deformities such as lordosis and kyphosis. These symptoms can be excruciating and cause daily disruption in one’s life. Thankfully there have been leaps and bounds in the development of effective treatments for vertebral fractures, with minimally invasive kyphoplasties leading the way.
A minimally invasive kyphoplasty is an intervention that is used to restore vertebral height and is accomplished by the injection of a hardening cement. The surgeon will typically use general anesthesia and employ a large needle to access the affected vertebrae. Using continuous X-ray imaging, the surgeon will first insert a small balloon, blown up with pressurized liquid to restore the original height of the crumpled vertebra. With this newly created height, they will then use another needle to inject a cement-like substance into the empty space. Making sure that there is no leakage of the cement into the adjacent tissues, the surgeon will remove the needles and wait for the cement to harden. The procedure terminates after the short time that it takes for the cement to harden, and a bandage is placed over the needle entrance site.
The advent of minimally invasive techniques has allowed surgeons to offer these significantly less painful and exceedingly effective procedures to treat serious conditions. Dr. Frazier of NYC Spine is a leading contributor to the field of minimally invasive surgeries and is well-versed in the full spectrum of spinal care. Contact Dr. Frazier at NYC Spine today to see if a Kyphoplasty may be able to relieve the pain of your vertebral compression fracture.
Can a Kyphoplasty help me?
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What are the Benefits of a Kyphoplasty?
Without any need for fanfare or sugar-coating, the benefits of minimally invasive kyphoplasties speak for themselves. Minimally invasive techniques represent the culmination of surgical advancement and produce more successful outcomes with longer lasting results. Some of the remarkable benefits of kyphoplasties include the following:
- Not Your Traditional Surgery: There is no incision made anywhere on the body; the only openings made are through the small punctures of the needles. No incisions lead to less damage to the surrounding tissues, little to no blood loss, and a shortened recovery time.
- Outpatient Surgery: Most individuals will have a kyphoplasty procedure performed in an outpatient surgical clinic, allowing for a return to the comfort or their home on the very same day.
- Short Recovery Time: The surgical precision of kyphoplasty leads to less damage to the surrounding tissues and bones. This allows for a speedier recovery and return to the normal activities of life.
Our team at NYC Spine will work closely with you to personalize your own treatment plan. With you at the helm of your recovery, our team of spine specialists will help guide you to health. Contact NYC Spine today to set up your first appointment and rediscover relief!
How do I know if I need a Microdiscectomy?
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Do I Qualify for a Kyphoplasty?
One of the main differences between a vertebral compression fracture and other conditions of the spine is that a VCF must be treated as soon as possible. With other spinal disorders, more conservative treatments are usually attempted for at least 6-8 weeks before surgery is proposed. However, following a vertebral compression fracture, the possibility of the bones healing in an unnatural or undesirable shape or direction is highly possible. It is important to see a physician as soon as possible, as the bones can and will heal on their own, possibly leading to more severe consequences.
As with most surgeries, there are certain situations that may exclude someone from participating in certain procedures. A minimally invasive kyphoplasty is no different. The following situations may bar an individual from receiving this treatment: infection of the spine (osteomyelitis), allergies to surgical materials, a stable and symptom-free fracture, radiculopathy such as numbness in arms or legs, or extreme instability and fragility of the spine.
With over 20 years of experience in the field, you can trust Dr. Frazier to be up-front and honest about your situation and the viable options for treatment. The family-like atmosphere at NYC Spine will welcome you in and support you through your journey. Call our award-winning team today to begin your journey toward a pain-free spine!
Am I a candidate for a Kyphoplasty?
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Dr. Frazier is a Harvard-trained, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon. He’s held an academic appointment at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York’s SUNY Downstate. Dr. Frazier is also a respected lecturer, accomplished researcher, published author on spine disorders and treatment, and a consultant for several international spine companies.
After completing his undergraduate education at Brown University, Dr. Frazier attended Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude. He completed a Harvard internship based at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA, followed by a Harvard combined residency before becoming chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Education & Training
MD / Cum Laude
Harvard Medical School
Mass. General Hospital
Spinal Deformity Fellowship
Doctor’s Hospital (Miami, FL)