Spine serves the purpose of providing support to entire body structure. A healthy spine is extremely crucial for performing self-care activities and routine tasks such as walking, bending, running and climbing stairs. Any type of spinal disease or spinal fracture can adversely affect the normal functioning of spine and result in back pain. Sometimes, back pain may become so intense that it starts interfering with routine life of patients. However, it may be primarily managed by pain-controlling medicines and exercises. In certain cases, where primary treatments fail to provide desired results, then patients must consult a well-trained surgeon to know about available surgical options.
What is Balloon Kyphoplasty?
Balloon kyphoplasty is a surgical intervention which is mainly used to stabilize spinal deformities such as disabling back pain, fractured spinal column and spinal misalignment. This minimally invasive procedure improves spinal flexibility by eliminating back pain and maximizes overall quality of patient’s life.
Good Candidates for Balloon Kyphoplasty
Patients who belong to the following category are considered to be good candidates for undergoing balloon kyphoplasty.
- Health Conditions – Patients suffering from problems like back pain, swelling around spine, severe spinal fractures, spinal misalignment and similar spinal deformities which may be caused due to osteoporosis, lesions or cancer are considered to be good candidates for undergoing balloon kyphoplasty
- Elderly Patients – Patients who are extremely old and not eligible for an open spine surgery can opt for this procedure.
- Young Patients – Young patients struggling with osteoporosis that is caused due to an underlying metabolic disorder are likely to get benefited from balloon kyphoplasty.
- Realistic Expectations – Patients who are willing to undergo this procedure must have realistic expectations. They should understand that they will probably need to walk with the help of walkers or crutches and perform physical therapy in order to avail best outcomes and speedy recovery.
Diagnosing Spinal Deformities
At first, patients will need to take a medical appointment with experienced spine specialists. Respective doctors may begin the diagnosis session by asking several important questions to patients. For instance, they may ask the patients regarding the medications which they consume on daily basis and spinal problems which are bothering them. They may also request them to reveal their complete medical history. It will give them a hint regarding their current health status. They may order any of the following imaging tests in order to figure out exact spinal deformity.
- Spinal X-Rays – Spinal x-rays can help doctors to determine the type and extent of spinal disorder. This painless diagnostic procedure involves generating images of patient’s spinal column, nerves and tissues around it. These images are taken as a point of reference for analyzing patient’s internal condition.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Magnetic resonance imaging test produces high-quality images of patient’s spine with the help of sharp radio waves and powerful magnetic field. Spine surgeons may order an MRI when other imaging procedures fail to provide proper required information.
In addition to these tests, surgeons may also advise certain blood tests to confirm the eligibility of patients for undergoing balloon kyphoplasty.
Preparing for Balloon Kyphoplasty
Patients will need to follow the given steps strictly in order to get best results following balloon kyphoplasty.
- Medicines – Respective spine surgeons may ask patients to temporarily stop the intake of certain medicines which they take on a regular basis. They may prescribe some new medicines instead of previous ones. This step is usually taken to prevent patients from certain potential postoperative complications.
- Healthy Diet – Patients must take care of their diet during pre-surgical period. They should increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain a normal weight. It will definitely help them in a fast recovery.
- No Smoking – Smoking can lead to various complications following balloon kyphoplasty. Therefore, patients who smoke must quit such habit as early as possible.
- Caregiver – Respective spine surgeons are likely to restrict patients from performing any type of strenuous physical task as well as driving during their recovery period. Therefore, patients must arrange a caregiver in advance who can drive back home after operation and cook food for them until they become fit enough to cook for themselves.
Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure
Normally, balloon kyphoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. However, in some cases, surgeons may use local anesthesia. The following steps elaborate the procedure for balloon kyphoplasty.
- Placement of Balloon – Respective spine surgeons begin the operation by making a small incision near affected spinal area. Surgeons insert a thin and flexible medical instrument via the tiny incision. They further guide a balloon through it until it reaches an appropriate location.
- Inflation of Balloon – After that, spine surgeons inflate the balloon carefully which pushes the impaired bone to its normal location.
- Cavity Creation – When the spinal bone gets back to its normal position, surgeons deflate the balloon and take it out. It creates a cavity or space within the vertebral section which raises the chances of a new spinal injury.
- Filling Cavity – To prevent any damage to spinal column, surgeons fill this cavity with the help of cement. It closes the gap and enhances spinal stability.
Surgeons may perform imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT scan) following balloon kyphoplasty in order to ensure proper distribution of cement.
Risks and Complications Associated with Balloon Kyphoplasty
The following list elaborates some major risks and complications associated with balloon kyphoplasty procedure.
- Serious Infection – Although this procedure is minimally invasive in nature, there remains a risk of serious infection. However, surgeons may provide antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection following balloon kyphoplasty.
- Cement Leakage – In some cases, cement which is used for filling up the cavity may not fix properly and start to leak. It may fuel up the possibility of a serious spinal fracture.
- Numbness and Tingling – Patients may encounter neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling sensations. In rare cases, paralysis may also occur.
- Heart Attack or Stroke – Patients may experience a heart attack or stroke following balloon kyphoplasty. A prompt medical supervision is necessary to control and manage such complications.
Patients should discuss regarding the entire procedure and solutions of potential health complications with their spine surgeons before signing the consent form.
Recovery Following Balloon Kyphoplasty
Patients may have to spend three to four days in respective healthcare centers following the balloon kyphoplasty. Initially, they may feel uneasiness and slight pain in back. Spine surgeons may advise them to take bed rest and consume prescribed medicines until their back pain and discomfort goes away. During this period, they should completely avoid performing several activities like bending, twisting, running, lifting heavy weights, driving and playing high-impact sports. Doctors may recommend physical therapy to patients after three to four weeks. It will help them regain their lost strength and spinal range of motion. In addition to this, patients should keep visiting respective doctors at regular time intervals for follow-up care sessions in order to speed up healing process and improve overall quality of life.
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Best Benefits of Availing Balloon Kyphoplasty in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is one of the top-class spine care facilitators across the world. Travcure is associated with a large range of experienced spine specialists in India who are adept at providing successful outcomes following most complicated spine surgeries like balloon kyphoplasty. Balloon kyphoplasty cost in developed countries like Australia and Norway is thrice the rate which is normally charged in India. Healthcare consultants at Travcure provide highly customized and cost-effective treatment packages to each and every international patient. They arrange a free online medical consultation for overseas patients in order to understand their current medical status and healthcare requirements. They also assist international patients in availing their medical visas at the earliest. In addition to this, they stay in touch with international patients throughout their healthcare journey as well as during the postoperative phase even when they return to their native countries. They go the extra mile in order to ensure smooth and speedy recovery of overseas patients. Therefore, international patients can depend on the staunch healthcare services offered by Travcure Medical Tourism for availing the best balloon kyphoplasty in India.