Balloon kyphoplasty is a procedure used to repair spinal fractures, which are caused by cancer, osteoporosis, and benign lesions. During this intervention, orthopedic balloons are used to elevate the fractured vertebra to return the bone to normal position. The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, which depends on your overall state of health.
What are vertebral compression fractures?
The spinal bones are called vertebrae (singular – vertebra). With a vertebral compression fracture (VCF), which occurs when the body of a vertebra collapses. Most VCFs are caused from a disease that makes bones become weakened and brittle. Compression fractures also occur from bone cancer and tumors. With multiple VCFs, the spine angles forward, which creates stooped posture. In addition, a hump back (kyphosis) affects reaching for things, walking, and usual daily activities.
How do I prepare for the balloon kyphoplasty procedure?
Before the procedure, you will need to have medical examination and undergo diagnostic imaging scans. Your doctor must decide if or not you can have general or local anesthesia.
What happens during the procedure?
An incision is made over the spinal column, which is around one centimeter in length. The cavity of the vertebra is filled with thickened bone cement, which stabilize the fracture. Bone cement dries fast, forms an internal cast, and this holds the vertebral body stable. The balloon will inflate, and fixes the fractured bone with hollow instrument. A small orthopedic balloon, which is guided through the vertebra. Usually, two balloons are use, which are on each side of a vertebral body. The balloons are inflated to heal the fractured vertebra, and this allows the bone cement to form and fix the site.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, you should experience relief from back pain within 7-10 days. Your doctor will probably schedule a follow-up exam and explain your limitations regarding physical activity. In a recent clinical study, balloon kyphoplasty was found to be more effective than non-surgical care of acute vertebral compression fractures. In addition, the benefits were found to last for the 12-month follow-up. Frequency of patients, as well as adverse events, do not differ between non-surgical groups and balloon kyphoplasty.
What benefits are associated with balloon kyphoplasty?
A recent clinical trial showed that the following benefits of kyphoplasty included:
What is kyphoplasty used to treat?
Kyphoplasty will help compression fractures with reduced height loss and corrected posture (kyphosis). This occurs from spinal deformity and altered vertebrae shape. This helps correct, restore, and normalize vertebral shape and height.
What risks are associated with the balloon kyphoplasty procedure?
Kyphoplasty has a very few risks to consider. These include:
Does kyphoplasty work?
Kyphoplasty was evaluated in several studies, and of these 1,624 procedures, 80% of those treated for VCF had osteoporosis. Of those who had the procedure, 92% reported pain relief afterwards.
Hulme PA, Krebs J, Ferguson SJ, et al. (2006). Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: a systematic review of 69 clinical studies. Spine, 31:1983–2001. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000229254.89952.6b.
Wardlaw D, Cummings SR, Van Meirhaeghe J, et al. (2009). Efficacy safety of balloon kyphoplasty compared with non-surgical care for vertebral compression fracture (FREE): a randomized controlled trial. The Lancet, 373, 1016-1024.