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Dr. Joseph Yazdi

M.D., FAANS

Dr. Joseph Yazdi is an engaging, innovating, and experienced neurosurgeon who is committed to providing exceptional outcomes for his patients. He practices a patient centered approach which emphasizes the care of the whole person.

Dr. Joseph Yazdi - Arch Neurosurgery

Kyphoplasty could be the answer for painful spinal fractures

Dr. Joseph Yazdi performs in-office kyphoplasty for painful spinal fractures.

Where is kyphoplasty used?

Kyphoplasty is most often used on patients who suffer compression fractures of the spine. These types of fractures typically – but not always – result from weakened vertebrae due to osteoporosis.

Compression fractures usually occur in the thoracic region of the spine, but can also occur in the lumber region¹.

The thoracic spine is the longest and most complex area of the spine. It has 12 vertebra stacked on top of each other and runs from the base of the neck to the abdomen². As such, it’s primary function is to protect the spine, anchor the ribs – protecting the heart, lungs and other organs – and provide stability to the mid-section of the body³.

The lumbar spine begins at the abdomen – about six inches below the shoulder blade – where the thoracic spine ends, and extends to the tailbone. “Lumbar” draws its name from the Latin word for “lion.” Like its namesake, the lumber spine is built for power and flexibility for lifting, twisting and bending⁶. The two lowest segments of the lumbar spine have the largest vertebrae in the spine and bear the greatest weight of any other part of the spine, making them most prone to fracture, herniation, collapse and injury⁶ ⁷.

Can kyphoplasty help me?

A leading cause of thoracic and lumbar back pain is osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become weak and brittle as the body ages. As a result, the primary symptoms of osteoporosis of the back are usually caused by fractured or collapsed vertebra⁵. In addition to pain, this collapse of vertebra can lead to loss of height over time.

Patients who suffer compression fractures of the spine are the best candidates for kyphoplasty. These types of fractures typically – but not always – result from weakened vertebrae due to osteoporosis.

Compression fractures usually occur in the thoracic region of the spine, but can also occur in the lumber region¹.

The thoracic spine is the longest and most complex area of the spine. It has 12 vertebra stacked on top of each other and runs from the base of the neck to the abdomen². Above all, the thoracic spine’s function is to protect the spine, anchor the ribs – protecting the heart, lung and other organs – and provide stability to the mid-section of the body³.

A leading cause of thoracic and lumbar back pain is osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become weak and brittle as the body ages. As a result, the primary symptoms of osteoporosis of the back are caused by fractured or collapsed vertebrae⁵. In addition to pain, this collapse of vertebrae can lead to loss of height over time.

How does kyphoplasty work?

Physicians have developed new ways to treat compressed vertebrae that involve very little surgical intervention. In fact, most patients who have one of these minimally invasive treatments can usually go home the same day. This procedure is kyphoplasty.

Your doctor determines if you are a kyphoplasty candidate by evaluating your complete medical history, including any medications you take, and ordering through imaging studies. Therefore, if you are, the office will schedule the procedure, most of which takes place in the physician’s office or a surgery center under sedation, local or general anesthesia.

Using fluoroscopy, your doctor will guide a needle into the fractured or compressed vertebra through which a balloon is inserted into the compressed vertebra. Your doctor will then inflate the balloon to restore the vertebra to its original height. After that, the balloon is removed. Finally, the physician injects a cement mixture into the void created by the balloon⁸ ⁹. The entire procedure takes about an hour and studies show as many as 75 percent of patients regain lost mobility following kyphoplasty⁹.

Kyphoplasty carries very few risks. Fewer than one in 1,000 patients might experience infection. Similarly, a small amount of cement can leak from the vertebra, although that rarely causes any serious problems. Also, risk of allergy to any of the components is very low⁹.

Following kyphoplasty, patients usually experience near-immediate pain relief. Similarly, other patients noticed a reduction of pain in one or two days⁹. Due to the noninvasive nature of the procedure, patients can usually return to normal function without physical therapy or rehabilitation⁹.

For more information kyphoplasty’s potential benefits to you, contact Dr. Joseph Yazdi at Arch Neurosurgery.

Sources
¹ https://www.spine-health.com/video/kyphoplasty-osteoporosis-fracture-treatment-video
² https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/thoracic-spine-anatomy-and-upper-back-pain
³ https://www.verywellhealth.com/thoracic-spine-297288
https://www.verywellhealth.com/thoracic-spine-297288
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351968
https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/lumbar-spine-anatomy-and-pain
https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/l/lumbar-spine.html
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/kyphoplasty
https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=vertebro
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