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What happens during a kyphoplasty?

A kyphoplasty is usually performed general anaesthetic and takes between one to two hours depending on the extent of your fracture(s).

You will lie on your stomach. Your consultant will make a small incision (cut) in your back. They will make a small hole in your damaged vertebrae(s) and using x-ray guidance insert special balloons (called bone tamps) through a hollow needle into the collapsed area to create a space.The balloons are then removed and special bone cement is inserted in the space to strengthen and stabilise your spine. The incision will be covered with a plaster if necessary.

Just after your procedure you will need to lie still and rest for 1-2 hours. You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home.

Going home after kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is usually performed as a day case meaning you can go home the day of the procedure. In some cases an overnight hospital stay may be required.

You should rest for the first 24 hours and then gradually resume your normal daily activities.

You may feel a bit bruised or sore where the incision was made. Use an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel to help relieve any discomfort. Your back pain may ease immediately but it could take several days to see improvement.

You may be asked avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for up to 6 weeks after your kyphoplasty.

As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Specific complications following kyphoplasty may include:

  • Nerve irritation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Leaking cement
  • No pain relief

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