Dr. Finkenberg discusses how a woman should advocate for her health to ensure the best care following her kyphoplasty procedure.
Kyphoplasty is, once you have determined that that’s an option in your care, is best talked about with your primary physician as well as your specialist. And what you need to determine is your degree of discomfort.
Probably 75 to 80 percent of vertebral fractures are interestingly semi-asymptomatic. In other words, people have pains that are chronic and secondary to degenerative disc disease, and facet arthritis and small fractures basically are not noted. We pick them up as an incidental finding on a chest X-ray or an X–ray of the spine.
But there are that 20 percent of patients that do have these fractures after falls or some other type of acute injury. And once X-rays are taken and they are determined to be the cause or the pain generator, then I do think you need to talk with your physician about what your choices are. Most people don’t mind taking pain medication or analgesics for a few days to a week, but prolonged use is obviously not acceptable.
In addition to that, if you find out that you are not able to do your normal daily activities and you are immobile, we don’t want you to have the complications that go along with that, including creating emboli and various other muscle atrophy.
So if certainly you are seen in the emergency room and this is found to be a problem, rather than trying to treat this over a five to seven day hospitalization, having the procedure will certainly shorten that significantly and decrease your pain.
About Dr. Finkenberg, M.D.
Dr. John Finkenberg has been in practice at Alvarado Hospital for 16 years. He completed his undergraduate and medical degree at UCLA. Following his orthopedic residency at Harbor/UCLA, he received fellowship training in Advanced Spinal Reconstruction Surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland.
Dr. Finkenberg’s great interest in the advancement of spinal surgery developed from 15 years as a spine consultant assisting with the creation of new technology and procedures. He is a primary investigator for multi-center national research studies and lectures around the world on current research projects.