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Interventional Radiology


what is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal surgery procedure. It is instrumental in treating traumatic and progressive vertebral body collapse/fracture (VCFs). The leading causes of VCFs are osteoporosis or tumors spread to the vertebral body from other parts of the body. Early results show kyphoplasty is a safe and effective method of vertebral reconstruction and stabilization in the treatment of osteoporotic VCFs. But like all surgeries, kyphoplasty does have risks.

What should I Expect?

The kyphoplasty procedure uses a balloon to restore the height and shape of the vertebral body. Bone cement is then applied to reinforce the spinal column. The procedure can be performed under intravenous sedation — with the patient receiving a local or general anesthetic.

The procedure is straightforward.

With the patient lying face down on the operating room table, dual x-ray machines are used to display the collapsed bones. An incision is made in the back of the patient, whereby a narrow tube is inserted into the fractured vertebra.

Using the tube, a small hole is then drilled through the rigid, outer part of the bone and into its softer center. This opening provides a pathway for the physician to insert a special balloon into the interior of the vertebra.

The balloon is inflated — pushing apart the caps (end plates) of the fractured vertebra and restoring the vertebra to its original shape. Upon the procedure’s completion, the balloon is deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that the physician fills with bone cement.

How Should I prepare?

First, the patient’s physician must make an appointment to see Dr. Chaffey for a kyphoplasty consultation. This can be done by calling 505-559-5653.

Second, the patient needs an MRI (or bone scan with SPECT if he/she cannot have an MRI) before the consultation. We can schedule the MRI or bone scan when scheduling the consultation.

Service Locations

Kyphoplasty is available at El Camino Imaging Center, X-Ray Associates at Farmington and X-Ray Associates at Santa Fe.