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Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, which increases their risk of vertebral compression fractures. However, osteoporosis isn’t the only cause of vertebral fractures, and you make an appointment for assessment if you live with chronic back pain. Pacific Pain Physicians, in Santa Barbara, California, treat vertebral compression fractures using kyphoplasty. If you’re living with back pain or spinal compression fractures, call Pacific Pain Physicians or make an appointment online today.

Kyphoplasty Q & A


What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which your doctor uses a small surgical balloon to open and expand your damaged vertebrae to its original dimensions before filling it with special bone cement to strengthen and restore your spine.

Compression fractures are common back injuries that occur when one or more of your vertebra weaken and collapse. Compression fractures are extremely painful and can impede your movement, cause spinal deformities, and a loss of height. 

What happens during kyphoplasty?

Before recommending kyphoplasty, your doctor performs a physical exam including diagnostic imaging studies such as X-rays or MRIs to identify and locate your damaged vertebra.

Pacific Pain Physicians prepare you for kyphoplasty by placing an IV to deliver anesthesia, anti-nausea medicine, and antibiotics. You lie on your stomach during the procedure, and your physician begins by injecting a local anesthetic into your back.

Then, using fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, they guide a hollow needle through your skin and into the damaged vertebrae. Next, they insert a medical balloon through the hollow needle and inflate it inside your vertebrae. The balloon creates space in the vertebra, restoring its shape and size.

Your physician deflates and removes the balloon and then injects bone cement through the hollow needle into your vertebrae. When the procedure is complete, your doctor removes the needle and bandages the injection site.

What should I expect while recovering from kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty usually takes about an hour for a single vertebra. Following your surgery, you recover under observation and are encouraged to get up and walk around as the anesthesia wears off. Your doctor provides personalized instructions regarding physical activity and post-surgery pain management. In most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs will sufficiently relieve your discomfort. 

Am I a good candidate for kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is an excellent treatment option to repair your vertebra and relieve related pain. Many patients who have osteoporosis or have suffered from bone weakness from cancer treatments benefit from kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasty isn’t suitable as a preventive treatment or to address issues such as herniated discs, arthritis, or scoliosis.

If you have back pain due to compression fractures in your vertebra, call Pacific Pain Physicians or schedule a consultation online today to find out if kyphoplasty is right for you.