Back pain is a common medical complaint, and it becomes even more common as we get older. Knowing what’s causing your back pain is the first step toward getting the right treatment.
For some patients, a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty is the best option for relieving back pain symptoms. But like any medical treatment, it’s not a good choice for everyone.
At his practices in Carmel, Indianapolis, and Kokomo, Indiana, Jonathan Gentile, MD, performs in-depth spinal evaluations to identify ideal candidates for kyphoplasty, ensuring every patient gets the right care for their symptoms and their health.
Here’s how to tell if kyphoplasty might be a good choice for you.
Kyphoplasty is used to treat painful compression fractures, tiny, wedge-shaped “breaks” in your spine bones (vertebrae) caused by:
About 700,000 Americans have compression fractures every year, mostly due to osteoporosis.
When a compression fracture happens, the break causes the bone to “collapse” on itself, interfering with the way your spine moves and causing pressure on the surrounding nerves. The goal of kyphoplasty is to restore the shape of your vertebrae to stabilize your spine and relieve that pressure.
Not all compression fractures cause pain. If you have stable compression fractures that aren’t causing painful symptoms, Dr. Gentile may decide to monitor your condition instead of recommending kyphoplasty right away.
There are also some conditions that could disqualify you for kyphoplasty. These include:
It’s also important to know that kyphoplasty is not designed to treat established spinal deformities, like spinal curvature due to scoliosis, for instance.
If you are a good candidate for kyphoplasty, you’re probably wondering what to expect during the procedure.
Kyphoplasty typically is performed on an outpatient basis using sedation to keep you relaxed and comfortable. During the surgery, Dr. Gentile inserts a needle into the fractured area of your spine, using X-ray imaging to guide the needle placement. The needle has a tiny balloon attached at its tip.
Once the needle is in position, Dr. Gentile inflates the balloon to restore the normal height of the vertebra. Then, he injects a special surgical cement. The cement hardens in place to stabilize the damaged bone.
Most patients can walk around within an hour after their procedure. Soreness is common, but clears up within a few days. Dr. Gentile will provide you with a complete set of instructions to guide you through your recovery and healing.
Kyphoplasty can provide significant relief for chronic back pain due to compression fractures, but the key to getting the best results is to schedule a medical evaluation at the first sign of ongoing back pain.
Don’t let your back pain go undiagnosed. Call Dr. Gentile or book an appointment online to find out what’s causing your symptoms and get the right care to relieve them.