Kyphoplasty Treats "Dowager's Hump"
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Everyone has seen people with a “dowager’s hump” – a rounded back caused by osteoporosis or weakened bones during old age. Roderick Claybroooks, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery, performs a procedure called balloon kyphoplasty. The surgery helps straighten the spine and reduce the pain of kyphosis, the medical term for “dowager’s hump.”

Kyphosis occurs when calcium loss weakens the spinal vertebral body, which is the one of the thick blocks of bone comprising the spinal column. The bone can fracture and collapse, producing a wedge-shaped vertebrae. Not only does this cause a forward tilt to the spine, but patients can experience chronic or severe pain, reduced mobility, difficulty sleeping and decreased lung capacity.

Certain cancers, such as multiple myeloma, can also cause spinal fractures.

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour and patients usually go home from the hospital within 24 hours. Risks of infection and nerve damage are minimal.

Patients experience:
  • Almost immediate pain relief
  • Very rapid recoveries
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced deformity of the spine
In the procedure, the surgeon creates a small pathway into the fractured bone. Using live X-ray images, an orthopedic “balloon” is guided through a tube into the vertebra. Once in place, the balloon is carefully inflated to raise the collapsed vertebra to its normal size. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The resulting cavity is then filled with special bone cement creating an “internal cast” that stabilizes the bone.

For best results, patients should be treated within about eight weeks of the initial fracture, so it is best that they see their physician when they first experience back pain or increased deformity. Research shows that a first osteoporotic fracture makes it five times more likely that further fractures will occur.

For an appointment with Dr. Claybrooks, call 1-888-DMC-2500 or click here.