Balloon kyphoplasty

About baloon kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spine, most often the result of osteoporosis. Typically, kyphoplasty is recommended after less invasive treatments, such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication, have been ineffective. Kyphoplasty can be performed immediately in patients with problematic pain requiring hospitalization or for conditions that limit bed rest and pain medications.

The Procedure

During balloon kyphoplasty no surgical incision is needed—only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched. The fractured vertebra is accessed through the nick in the patient's back. A narrow Jamshidi needle is used to create a channel through which one or two balloon-like devices (inflatable bone tamps) can be inserted into the medullary space. The inflatable tamp is positioned in the vertebral body and filled with a radiopaque contrast medium for visualisation. The balloon is slowly inflated until the normal height of the vertebral body is restored. The balloon is then deflated and the cavity created filled with cement at a low pressure.

Are you a candidate for balloon kyphoplasty?

Here are factors to consider:
  • Was there sudden onset of back pain?
  • Is your spinal mobility limited?
  • Do you have a kyphotic deformity of the spine (“hunchback”)?
  • Does direct pressure on suspect vertebral bodies elicit pain?
  • Are you bedridden due to pain in the back and X-ray is showing compression?
  • Has your physician advised you a MRI for fracture of vertebra? Do you need a biopsy for fractured vertebra?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then balloon kyphoplasty is worth exploring.

Post Op Recovery

During your hospital stay, you will be encouraged to walk and move about. Generally, patients are discharged from the hospital within 24 hours. Your doctor will have you schedule a follow up visit and explain limitations, if any, on your physical activity. After the surgery, mobility is often quickly improved. Most patients are very satisfied with the procedure and are able to gradually resume activity once discharged from the hospital.

After Surgery Benefits
  • Dramatic pain relief
  • Better range of movement
  • Improved mobility
  • Reduction and stabilisation of the fracture
  • Correction of spinal deformity
  • Prevention of new fractures
  • Improvement in ability to perform activities
  • Better quality of life