Kyphoplasty Procedure Improves Quality of Life for Spinal Fracture Patients

May 4, 2006 – Posted at 4:48 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Imagine suffering a spinal fracture and not being confined to bed rest while recovering.

It's called Kyphoplasty and it's a minimally invasive treatment option being offered right here in Region 8.

Traditional treatments for spinal fractions include bed rest, medication and back bracing and while it may help a patient's pain over time, it doesn't treat the deformity associated with the fracture. Kyphoplasty is bone cement used as an internal cast to hold vertebra in place. It's used often in cases of osteoporosis which can cause bones in the spine to collapse, resulting in fractures.

"Those patients who have the fractures, they can be in tremendous pain and this procedure usually is less then an hour in time and you can treat several verbal bodies at once. The treatment it's self is not very difficult for the patients and they are usually out the next day," said Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Abraham of the NEA Clinic.

Harold Clark had the procedure after a car accident last year damaged the T-12 and L-1 portions of his spine. These days he's in tip-top shape.

"I have been exercising and taking care of my back and I'm virtually unrestricted," said former patient Harold A. Clark.

"It's not a very difficult procedure for the patient, there's not a lot of blood loss, the risks are relatively low for the procedure," said Dr. Abraham.

The procedure usually takes one hour per fracture and is preformed with local or general anesthesia. There are fewer then a half-dozen doctors in Region 8 currently doing this surgery