Kyphoplasty

What is Balloon Kyphoplasty?
Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, orthopedic treatment that stabilizes compression fractures of the spine cause by osteoporosis. Kyphoplasty reduces pain and provide for correction of the deformity. Studies also report the following benefits:

  • Correction of vertebral body deformity.
  • Significant reduction in back pain.
  • Significant improvement in quality of life.
  • Significant improvement in mobility, including the ability to perform daily activities such as walking, hobbies and work.
  • Significant reduction in the number of days per month that a patient remains in bed.
  • Low complication rate.

What causes compression fractures?
Osteoporosis is the predominant cause of compression fractures of the spine. Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease,” because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a simple strain, twist of the body, bump or fall causes a bone fracture. Fractures may occur in the hip, wrist, ribs or elsewhere, but the most common site of fracture is in the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spinal column.

Who is at risk?
Factors that increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis include:

  • Being female
  • Being thin or having a small frame
  • Advanced age
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Being postmenopausal
  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
  • Anorexia or bulimia
  • A diet low in calcium
  • Long-term use of medications such as cortico-steroids or anticonvulsants
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol

Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment in which orthopedic balloons are used to gently elevate the bone fragments in an attempt to return them to the correct position. Before the procedure, you will have diagnostic studies, such as X-Rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to determine the exact location of the fracture.

How the Balloon Works
Balloon Kyphoplasty is performed with sedation—the Interventional Radiologist at California Imaging Institute will decide which option is appropriate for you. Typically, the procedure takes less than one hour per fracture treated and may require an overnight hospital stay. With a hollow instrument, the spine specialist creates a small pathway into the fractured bone. A small, orthopedic balloon is guided through the instrument into the vertebra. The incision site is approximately 1/8 inch in length.

The cavity is filled with a special cement to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse. Once the vertebra is in the correct position, the balloon is deflated and removed. This process creates a void (cavity) within the vertebral body. The cement forms an internal cast that holds the vertebra in place. Generally, the procedure is done on both sides of the vertebral body.

To learn more about osteoporosis click here.