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Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat spinal fractures, also known as vertebral compression fractures. Kyphoplasty reduces pain from the fracture, stabilizes the vertebra, and can restore some of the vertebral height.

What to Know

Varying in severity, fractures occur when one of the bones in the spinal column weakens and collapses. Find out the risk factors and symptoms associated with spinal fractures and discover how Richmond Vascular Center's team of industry-leading physicians can help. If you think you may be a candidate for kyphoplasty, schedule a consultation with Richmond Vascular Center today.

Know the Signs

Physicians may suspect compression fractures in patients with the following symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of back pain, especially in patients over 50 years old or in women with osteoporosis risk factors who are over 45 years old
  • Moderate to severe back pain that worsens with movement
  • Pain that becomes less intense when lying on one's back
  • Limited spinal mobility
  • Height loss
  • Deformity and disability

Are you at risk?

There are three primary risk factors that lead to spinal fractures:

  • Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone in which bone density is reduced, increasing the chance that a person could sustain a vertebral compression fracture with little or no trauma.
  • Trauma is an injury severe enough to cause a vertebra to break. It can occur in a variety of ways, including a car accident or a fall from a height in which a person lands on their feet or buttocks.
  • A pathological fracture occurs in the vertebra due to preexisting disease at the fracture site. Most commonly, this type of break is associated with bone cancer.

The intersection of innovation and healing.

At Richmond Vascular Center, a trusted partner in your health, our expert physicians can diagnose a spinal fracture by performing a comprehensive physical and diagnostic exam that often includes an X-ray, CT scan or MRI and sometimes a bone scan. An MRI of the spine is considered the gold standard in diagnosing fractures and determining their age.

Leading the way in vascular care.

During a kyphoplasty, the procedure used to treat a spinal fracture, a patient lies face down on the surgical table. Using X-ray guidance and through a very small incision, the physician inserts a special needle through one or two side(s) of the fractured vertebra. Through this same needle a biopsy or sample of the bone is sometimes obtained and evaluated by pathologists.

During the kyphoplasty, a special balloon is inserted through the tube into the fractured vertebra. Once inside, the balloon is inflated, creating a cavity inside the bone. This can restore some of the height of the collapsed vertebra. This process is often repeated on the other side of the vertebra to ensure uniformity, increasing the chances of deformity correction.

The physician deflates and removes the balloon(s), leaving the newly created cavity behind. From there, the empty cavities and surrounding bone are filled with bone cement. This pasty compound hardens quickly (within about five minutes), creating a supportive cast inside the fractured vertebra.

Sharing knowledge. Empowering Patients.

What are the benefits of undergoing a kyphoplasty at Richmond Vascular Center?

Properly repairing a spinal fracture requires knowledgeable physicians whose innovative techniques can lead to life changing results, like a reduction in chronic pain. Undergoing a minimally invasive kyphoplasty at Richmond Vascular Center means receiving patient-focused care from established providers in a convenient, outpatient setting – a cost effective alternative to overnight hospital stays.

How long does a kyphoplasty take?

A kyphoplasty generally requires around two hours to complete, which includes surgery preparation and recovery time. If a patient has multiple fractures each additional level will add roughly 30 minutes to the procedure.

How will I feel during a kyphoplasty?

The warm and compassionate staff and physicians at Richmond Vascular Center use a combination of local anesthetic and conscious sedation to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

What can I expect after the procedure?

There may be some soreness at the location of your fractures following your kyphoplasty, but most patients report feeling a reduction in pain within hours.

Will my insurance cover the procedure?

At Richmond Vascular Center, our staff works to ensure that all referrals and authorizations are in place prior to your first visit.