Kyphoplasty

Definition

Kyphoplasty is used to treat painful compression fractures in the spine. In a compression fracture, all or part of a spine bone collapses.

The procedure is also called balloon kyphoplasty.

Alternative Names

Balloon kyphoplasty

Description

Kyphoplasty is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic.

You lie face down on a table. The health care provider cleans the area of your back and applies medicine to numb the area.

The doctor places a needle through the skin and into the spine bone. Real-time x-ray images are used to guide the doctor to the correct area in your lower back.

A balloon is placed through the needle, into the bone, and then inflated. This restores the height of the vertebrae. Cement is then injected into the space to make sure it does not collapse again.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

A common cause of compression fractures of the spine is thinning of your bones, or osteoporosis. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have severe and disabling pain for 2 months or more that does not get better with bed rest, pain medicines, and physical therapy.

Your doctor may also recommend this procedure if you have a painful compression fractures of the spine due to

Risks

Kyphoplasty is generally safe. Complications may include:

Before the Procedure

Before surgery, always tell your doctor or nurse:

During the days before the surgery:

On the day of the surgery:

After the Procedure

You will probably go home on the same day of surgery. You should not drive, unless your doctor says it is OK.

After the procedure:

Outlook (Prognosis)

People who have kyphoplasty often have less pain and a better quality of life after the surgery. They often need fewer pain medicines, and can move better than before.

References

Wardlaw D, Cummings SR, Van Meirhaeghe J, et al. Efficacy and safety of balloon kyphoplasty compared with non-surgical care for vertebral compression fracture (FREE): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2009;373(9668):1016-24.

Berenson J, Pflugmacher R, Jarzem P, et al.; Cancer Patient Fracture Evaluation (CAFE) Investigators. Balloon kyphoplasty versus non-surgical fracture management for treatment of painful vertebral body compression fractures in patients with cancer: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2011 Mar;12(3):225-35.

Anselmetti GC, Muto M, Guglielmi G, et al. Percutaneous vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Radiol Clin North Am. 2010 May;48(3):641-9.