Kyphoplasty Procedure Information
Your doctor has recommended a minimally invasive procedure to treat your spinal compression fracture. These fractures usually lead to incapacitating back pain, a reduction in your mobility and often a decline in overall health.
A procedure to stabilize the bone (essentially gluing the fracture back together) reduces pain and allows a speedy return to an active lifestyle. This procedure is called kyphoplsty or vertrebroplasty.
The procedure you will receive works by injecting medical-grade bone cement directly into the fractured vertebra. This cement hardens quickly and acts like an internal cast. In some cases a balloon is inserted into the fracture to expand the space before the cement is added.
Franklin G. Moser, MD, director of Clinical and Interventional Neuroradiology, and Marcel Maya, MD, co-chair of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center, head our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in treating spinal compression fractures.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
- You will be contacted by a member of our team the day before your exam (between 4 and 6 p.m.) and given instructions on how you should prepare and what time you should arrive. If you are not contacted, please call 310-423-4125 early in the morning of your procedure (such as 6 a.m.).
- You should have your doctor's office fax all orders and lab results to Cedars-Sinai the day before your procedure: 310-423-0108.
- You should plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled procedure (three hours if you have not had all your preop lab work done.)
- You should not eat in the eight hours prior to your procedure. You may drink clear liquids. Avoid orange juice, cream and milk.
- If you are on any medications, consult with your doctor about taking them prior to the exam. In particular, diabetics and people taking anti-coagulants (blood thinners) need instructions from their doctor. If you are instructed to take your medications, do so with sips of water or clear liquid.
- You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure, so you should arrange for someone to help you get home.
- We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
- Please wear comfortable clothing.
- You must tell the technologist, nurse and/or physician of any allergies that you may have.
- Also you should tell them if you have emphysema or a severe lung problem, as special accommodations will need to be made.
During the Procedure
- You will be placed on a table on your stomach.
- You will be given an injection of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- You will be given an intravenous sedative, and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area around the damaged spine. The sedative will make you drowsy but will not put you to sleep.
- A special X-ray machine called a fluoroscope will be used by the physician to assure proper needle placement and optimal cement deposition.
- If one vertebra is being treated, the procedure usually takes about one hour. If more than one site must be treated, the procedure will take longer.
After the Exam
- You will be taken to a recovery room, where you will be asked to lie still for about six hours after your procedure.
- Most patients will be able to go home the day of the procedure. People who live at a distance from Cedars-Sinai may need to stay in a hotel overnight and people who are particularly frail or have other medical conditions may be kept overnight for observation.
- The area around the injection site in your back may be sore for a few days after the procedure. You may use an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour to help with the pain. Use a cloth to make sure the ice or cold-pack isn't directly touching your skin.
- The bandage on the wound should remain on for several days. You may take a shower with the bandage on. Keep the area around the wound clean.
- Increase activity slowly and carefully.
- You should have instructions from your physician about restarting any of the medications that you stopped for the procedure.
- Our interventional radiologist will follow-up with you and your primary care physician.
- Physical rehabilitation treatment on an outpatient basis may be beneficial and should be discussed with your primary care physician.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.