Kyphoplasty Specialist

South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C.

Orthopedic Spine Surgery & Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery located in Castle Rock & Centennial, CO & Garden City, KS

If you suddenly feel severe pain in your upper back, there’s a good chance you have suffered a vertebral compression fracture. At South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C., Zak Ibrahim, MD, has extensive experience performing kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that restores and strengthens the damaged vertebra. South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C. hosts a kyphoplasty procedure suite, which means you can go home in hours instead of languishing in the hospital. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Centennial or Castle Rock, Colorado, or Garden City, Kansas, or book online today.

Kyphoplasty Q & A

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to repair a collapsed vertebra. You may need kyphoplasty when a vertebra sustains damage from a tumor or traumatic injury. But this procedure is most often done to treat vertebral compression fractures.

What is a vertebral compression fracture?

A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the bone collapses because it’s too weak to support the normal weight and movement of your spine. This type of bone weakness develops when you have osteoporosis and usually affects your middle and lower back (thoracic and lumbar spine).

Vertebrae become thin and brittle when you have osteoporosis. As a result, they can easily collapse from the pressure of everyday activities like coughing, sneezing, or twisting. 

What symptoms indicate I may need kyphoplasty?

When one or more vertebrae collapse, you may have symptoms such as:

  • Sudden, severe upper or lower back pain
  • Limited movement
  • Pain that’s worse when walking
  • Pain that feels better when lying down
  • Round-back deformity
  • Loss of height

During a vertebral compression fracture, the front of the vertebra collapses, and the back stays the same height. That gives the bone a wedge-like shape.

When two or more adjacent vertebrae suffer a compression fracture, their wedge-like shapes combine to create a rounded hump in your upper back. This deformity is called kyphosis.

What happens during kyphoplasty?

Dr. Ibrahim talks with you about your choices for anesthesia, but most patients don’t need general anesthesia. Instead, they usually get conscious sedation together with a local anesthetic. 

South Denver Spine and Robotics is the only Denver spine practice to offer kyphoplasty as an outpatient procedure at the practice location itself. The vast majority of kyphoplasty procedures are often unnecessarily done in a hospital, adding significant delays and expense in receiving care. This major advancement is only one of many patient-centered advantages that the practice offers.

During your kyphoplasty at South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C., Dr. Ibrahim uses fluoroscopy to see your spine and guide the procedure. Fluoroscopy is a special type of X-ray that shows the inside of your body in real-time.

Once you’re ready and in position on the treatment table, Dr. Ibrahim inserts a slim, hollow needle through your skin and into the center of the collapsed vertebra. Then he uses the needle to inflate a small, medical-grade balloon. That restores the vertebra’s height and creates a small cavity.

After removing the balloon, he injects bone cement through the same device. The cement fills the space and hardens. The cement essentially functions as an “internal cast,” stabilizing the fractured vertebra from the inside. As a result, your bone retains its normal shape, your spine regains stability, and you get relief from your pain.

The cement immediately hardens and individuals are able to go home the same day. Because the fracture is now stabilized, patients are able to return to activities immediately. Of course, the osteoporosis must still be treated and Dr. Ibrahim will take a lead role in that.  

If you develop sudden pain in your upper back, call South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C., or connect online using the convenient online booking feature.