Before the procedure:
- Your doctor will likely order an X-ray, take a complete medical history and do a physical exam to determine the precise location and nature of your vertebra-related pain. Your doctor might also use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan).
- Tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications and any herbal supplements you are taking.
- Tell your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin or other medications that affect blood clotting.
During the procedure, your doctor:
- Gives you sedation medication to help you relax and keep calm during the procedure, or general anesthesia for severe pain.
- Uses a continuous X-ray to guide the needle into the fractured vertebra, with your body protected from the radiation.
- Slowly injects cement into the vertebra. Depending on how the cement enters the vertebra, your doctor might apply a second injection to completely fill it.
- With Kyphoplasty, a balloon is inflated to create a cavity in the vertebrae prior to placing the cement.
After the procedure:
- You will probably lie on your back for 1 hour while the cement hardens.
- You will likely remain in an observation room for an additional 1 to 2 hours.
- You may experience pain relief almost immediately after the procedure, but it might take up to 72 hours. Your doctor can provide you with over-the-counter pain relievers for the temporary discomfort.
- Your doctor will assess your pain and check for any possible complications.
- You may need to continue wearing a back brace, but it’s usually unnecessary.
- You will come back for a follow-up appointment in a few weeks.