Kyphoplasty

What you should know

Kyphoplasty is surgery to fix broken vertebrae. Your vertebrae are the bones in your back that form your spine.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

  • You may have an allergic reaction to the bone cement. Your nerves and spinal cord may be damaged. Spinal cord damage may cause you to leak spinal fluid. This can cause paralysis. You may be bruised or get an infection after surgery. Vertebrae that are near the surgery area may break. Cement may leak into your spinal cord, kidneys, and blood vessels. Cement leaks may travel into your lungs and brain. This can be life-threatening.

  • Without surgery, your pain may get worse. The changes in the curve of your spine may make it harder for you to breathe. You may have more trouble walking and doing the activities you enjoy.

Getting Ready

The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need blood tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI of your spine. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

Your surgeon will use an x-ray to locate your broken vertebrae and guide him during surgery. He will make a small incision over your broken vertebrae. A balloon will be inserted near the broken vertebrae and inflated to make a pocket. The balloon will be removed and bone cement will be injected into the pocket. The hardened cement will help keep your broken vertebrae together so it can heal. A bandage will be placed over the surgery site. Your surgeon may do an x-ray or CT scan to check for any cement leaks.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will have to lie flat for up to 2 hours so the cement can fully harden. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You are unable to move one or both of your legs.

  • You have pain in your ribs or lower back.

  • You have sudden trouble breathing or chest pain.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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