Similar to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty (also called balloon kyphoplasty) is used to treat patients with painful compression fractures in the spine.
A common cause of compression fractures of the spine is thinning of the bones, or osteoporosis, which could be due to cancer or injury. This procedure is recommended when severe and disabling pain for two months or more does not get better with bed rest, pain medicines, and physical therapy.
The procedure is designed to stabilize the bone and to restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture and reverse deformity of the spine.
During the procedure, the surgeon advances a thin tube into the fractured vertebra, then drills a small hole through the hard, outer part of the bone and into its softer center, providing a pathway insert a special balloon into the interior of the vertebra, which is then inflated. This pushes apart the end plates of the fractured vertebra and restores it to its original shape as much as possible. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that the physician fills with bone cement.
People who have kyphoplasty often have less pain and a better quality of life after the surgery. They routinely need fewer pain medicines, and can move better than before.