Question: Kyphoplasty for permanent pain relief

I had a laminectomy 11 years ago, which seemed successful at the time. The surgery lasted many years (6 or 7) and now pain has emerged, suspected cause is pressure at the S-I joint. I have had many years of injections into the joint with minimal short term relief.

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Balloon Kyphoplasty

I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who no longer works on backs, and he suggested another surgery separating the 2 joints with pins and fusion. I am now 60, and I don't want to go through that again. I have been seeing a chiropractor for several years now and I get decent temporary relief.

Pain is brought on by standing...I can ride a bike for twenty miles, and I just came off a trip where we were in the car for 10 hour issues there. Sometimes I hang from a bar and the back will separate, giving temporary relief. Is there a chance that this kyphoplasty procedure would give me permanent relief?

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Doctor’s response: Kyphoplasty is for osteoporotic fractures

Kyphoplasty is a new procedure that is meant to repair osteoporotic vertebral body compression fractures. It does not sound as though this is what your pain is from so you would be unlikely to be a candidate for this.

If, over the years, you have developed any instability in the lumbar spine, then the only type of surgery that would be useful would be a fusion surgery. Otherwise, conservative treatment options like chiropractic and/or physical therapy may be helpful.

To find out if you are a candidate for a spine fusion you would really need to be seen by a spine surgeon (either ortho or neuro).

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In Spine-health’s Doctor Advice section, physicians respond to frequently asked questions about back pain issues. These responses represent the opinion of one physician, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the broader medical community. The advice presented has not been peer reviewed by Spine-health’s medical advisory board.