Accessibility Tools

What is Lumbar Kyphoplasty?

Lumbar kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that treats compression fractures in the lower spine. It involves inserting a balloon-like device into the fractured vertebra and inflating it to create space for a cement mixture that stabilizes the bone and restores its height.

When is Lumbar Kyphoplasty Recommended?

Lumbar kyphoplasty is recommended for people who have painful, worsening back pain caused by a compression fracture in the lumbar spine. The fracture may be due to osteoporosis, spinal tumors, trauma, or chemotherapy. The procedure is usually done within two months of the fracture diagnosis, and only after conservative treatments such as pain medication, rest, and braces have failed to provide relief.

How do you prepare for Lumbar Kyphoplasty?

  • Before the procedure, your doctor will order some blood tests and imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI, to confirm the location and severity of the fracture.
  • You will also discuss your medical history, allergies, and medications with your doctor.
  • You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or anti-inflammatory drugs, before the procedure.
  • You will also need to fast for several hours before the procedure.
  • You will receive instructions on what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect on the day of the procedure.

Lumbar Kyphoplasty Procedure

The procedure generally involves the following steps:

  • The procedure is done under local or general anesthesia, depending on your preference and your doctor's recommendation.
  • You will lie on your stomach on a special table that allows X-ray images to be taken during the procedure.
  • Your doctor will make a small incision in your back and insert a hollow needle into the fractured vertebra.
  • Through the needle, a balloon-like device will be inserted and inflated to create a cavity for the cement mixture.
  • The balloon will be deflated and removed, and the cement mixture will be injected into the cavity to fill and stabilize the vertebra.
  • The needle will be removed and the incision will be closed with a bandage.
  • The procedure usually takes less than an hour and can be done on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay.

Recovery after Lumbar Kyphoplasty

After the procedure, you will be monitored for any signs of complications, such as bleeding, infection, or nerve damage and later discharged. During the recovery phase, you can expect the following:

  • You may feel some soreness or discomfort at the injection site, which can be relieved with pain medication.
  • You will be able to walk and move around shortly after the procedure, but you will need to avoid strenuous activities, such as lifting, bending, or twisting, for several weeks.
  • You may need to wear a brace or a corset to support your spine for some time.

What are the Risks of Lumbar Kyphoplasty?

Lumbar kyphoplasty is generally considered a safe and effective procedure, but like any surgery, it has some potential risks and complications. These include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia or cement
  • Nerve injury or spinal cord compression
  • Cement leakage or embolism
  • New or recurrent fractures
  • Kyphosis or loss of vertebral height

The risks of lumbar kyphoplasty are rare and can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following the preoperative and postoperative instructions carefully.

What are the benefits of Lumbar Kyphoplasty?

Lumbar kyphoplasty can offer several benefits for people who suffer from compression fractures in the lower spine. These include:

  • Reduced pain and improved quality of life
  • Restored vertebral height and spinal alignment
  • Enhanced spinal stability and function
  • Decreased risk of complications from prolonged bed rest or opioid use
  • Shorter hospital stay and faster recovery

Other Surgical Treatments

  • Oklahoma State University
  • Mercy Health
  • Sonoran Spine
Practice Location of Dr. Zachary Lovato - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
Practice Location Pic of Dr. Zachary Lovato - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Location &Directions

1600 Medical Center Drive, Suite 218, El Paso, TX 79902

Practice Hours

  • Monday To Thursday: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
Practice Location Google Map of Dr. Zachary Lovato - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon