Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to repair vertebral compression fractures (VCF) by reducing and stabilizing fractures. It treats pathological vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions.
The surgeon will make a pathway into the fractured vertebra using a hollow instrument. A small balloon is then guided through the instrument into the bone.
Once in position, the balloon is slowly inflated to gently raise the collapsed bone into its normal position.
When the bone is in the correct position, the surgeon deflates and removes the balloon. This leaves behind a void—or cavity—within the vertebral body.
To prevent the bone from collapsing again, the void is filled with orthopaedic cement.
Once set, the cement forms a cast inside the vertebral body that stabilizes the bone. To fully secure the bone, the procedure is sometimes performed on both sides of the vertebral body.
A shorter surgical time; the procedure usually takes about a half hour per spinal level.
The kyphoplasty procedure can often be performed with local anesthesia. However, some patients, depending on their general health and severity of the spinal fracture(s) may require general anesthesia.
Patients are able to walk and return to their normal activities soon after surgery.
Kyphoplasty may be performed in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC), hospital, or outpatient spine surgery center.
Most patients are discharged home the same day as their kyphoplasty procedure. An overnight hospital stay may be recommended for some patients depending on many factors, such as coexisting medical problems (eg, cardiovascular risks).
Your doctor will give you specific post-operative instructions, but generally, you will spend about an hour in the recovery room after the procedure. There, a nurse diligently monitors your vital signs, which includes back pain.
Most patients are discharged from the ASC or hospital within 24 hours of their balloon kyphoplasty procedure. At your surgical follow-up appointment, your doctor will assess your recovery progress to determine if you should limit certain activities (eg, lifting). Many patients report significant improvements in pain, mobility and the ability to perform daily tasks—so you may not need to make any adjustments to your physical activity level.