The spine is one of the most intricate parts of the human body. It is a part of the central nervous system and it contains the spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that send messages to and from the brain. Although the spine houses one of the most important parts of the human body, it is also one of the more fragile. It is comprised of individual bones, known as vertebra and they are separated by a small, spongy material that is known as the intervertebral disc.
When the spine is operating properly, it allows us to move about freely. This would include bending, twisting and lifting. Our spine even allows us to stand upright. Unfortunately, damage to the spine may occur because of a traumatic injury or due to osteoporosis, which is a softening of the bone that often occurs as we get older. If the vertebra is fractured, it can cause severe pain because pressure may be put on nearby nerves. It can also destabilize the area so moving about can be quite painful. That is where a kyphoplasty surgery comes in. Here is information on kyphoplasty and why it may be needed.
Kyphoplasty is a type of surgery that is performed on individuals who have fractured vertebrae. It is used to restore some of the vertebrae height, which may have been reduced due to a compression fracture. It also helps to stabilize the bone so that they are no longer moving back and forth against each other and putting additional pressure on any nearby nerves. The kyphoplasty surgical procedure is relatively common and routine but it is still a surgery, nonetheless. That is why it is important to choose a physician that is skilled at handling this type of procedure.
Many people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have turned to Dr. Rob Dickerman because he is a board-certified neurosurgeon. Although most people think of brain surgery when they think of a neurosurgeon, that is only part of the types of procedures they do. A neurosurgeon works on the central nervous system, including the spine. Most of the surgeries that are performed by Dr. Dickerman are on the spine and he is one of the top doctors in America. He can offer you options to help get you back on your feet again and in some cases, this may include kyphoplasty surgery.
During the kyphoplasty procedure, a small incision is made so that a tube can be inserted into the area of the vertebral fracture. Fluoroscopy will be used for guidance so that it can be put in the proper area. This will allow any of the work that is necessary to take place. At that point, a balloon will be inserted into the vertebrae and the guidance will be given with x-ray images. The balloon will be inflated carefully, putting the pieces of the vertebrae into a more natural position. This will often help to relieve much of the pressure off the nerves in the area immediately.
When the balloon is deflated and removed, it will be necessary to fill the area that was occupied by the balloon. This is done with a mixture that is like cement. That mixture is called polymethylmethacrylate and it hardens very quickly. This will help to stabilize the bone and reduce any problems you are experiencing.
In most cases, kyphoplasty is going to be performed in a hospital setting. Depending upon the needs of the patient, either local or general anesthesia may be used for the procedure. It takes approximately one hour for a single vertebra to be handled, so if multiple vertebrae are fractured, it will take longer.
After the surgery takes place, the patient will be put into a recovery room and observed closely. Depending upon the patient and the type of procedure that was necessary, a hospital stay may be necessary for one day but sometimes, it can be done on more of an outpatient procedure.
Dr. Dickerman will give you additional instructions as to what to do during the postoperative period. This may include restrictions, such as how long until you are able to drive and what type of activities you can do and when you can do them. Pain relief may be necessary in some instances but in most cases, the pain will subside within a day or two. Strenuous exertion may be limited, but after the proper recovery time, it may be possible to get back to your normal life again.
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