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Spine Surgery Guide


Kyphoplasty is a technique related to Vertebroplasty. The procedure differs in that a specialized balloon is placed into the fractured bone prior to cement injection to better expand a compressed bone and create space into which to deposit the cement. Kyphoplasty is also used to treat painful compression fractures of the spine. Potential candidates are evaluated prior to any procedure by our interventional radiologists.

In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to create a cavity to inject the cement into. This procedure is designed to relieve pain. It can also improve spinal deformities from the fractures.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

  • You will receive a complete physical exam and blood tests.
  • You will have imaging studies of your back such as:

  • o X-ray and Bone scans —tests that use radiation to take pictures of structures inside the body, especially bones
    o MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
    o CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body

  • Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure like:
  • o Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
    o Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)

  • You will need to stop eating at least six hours prior to the procedure. Stop drinking fluids about 3-6 hours prior to the procedure.
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Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site or the needle insertion site
  • Severe back or rib pain
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • New numbness, tingling, or weakness

Possible Complications

Complications are rare but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

  • Leakage of the cement into the spinal canal or into adjacent veins
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Increased back pain
  • Fracture of adjacent vertebra or ribs
  • Numbness, tingling
  • Paralysis
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Your doctor may feel that the risks of these procedures are too great if you have:

  • Vertebral fractures that extend into the spinal canal area
  • Radiculopathy—irritation of a nerve root in the area of the fracture that often causes areas of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg
  • Current infection
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Unusually soft or porous bones

If you have vertebral fracture due to osteoporosis , vertebroplasty may not be as effective.


Vertebral fractures are often diagnosed on x-rays of the spine obtained by emergency or primary care physicians when a patient complains of back pain. The limitation of using x-rays to diagnose these fractures is that these films often do not allow a doctor to determine if a fracture is recent and is likely to be causing someone's back pain, or if a fracture is old and unrelated to a patient's pain. An MRI or a bone scan can be helpful for making this determination.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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