Balloon Kyphoplasty

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Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that treats vertebral body compression fractures. Kyphoplasty uses orthopedic bone cement to stabilize the fracture.

Your doctor performs kyphoplasty while you’re under local or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 1-hour per fracture treated.

What Happens During the Kyphoplasty Procedure

The steps involved in the procedure:

  • Your doctor makes a small incision in your back.
  • Your doctor uses image guided X-ray technology to thread a narrow tube through the incision to the fractured vertebra.
  • Your doctor inserts a special balloon, a bone tamp, through the tube into the vertebra and gently inflates it to restore the vertebral body height.
  • Next, your doctor removes the bone tamp and the space is filled with Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), an orthopedic bone cement.
  • The cement hardens and repairs the fracture and stabilizes and strengthens the vertebral body.
  • Your doctor restores your vertebral body height to relieve your pain.

Benefits of Balloon Kyphoplasty

Benefits of this minimally invasive procedure include spinal deformity correction, significant pain relief and a return to an active life. Other benefits include:

  • Smaller incisions than open surgery and shorter surgical recovery time
  • One-day hospital stay (sometimes less)
  • Usually immediate pain relief and a quick return to normal daily activities
  • No bracing required

Kyphoplasty may help avoid future fractures by stabilizing the fractured vertebra and preventing the onset or worsening of severe spinal deformity.

Read more about spine care at UVA Health

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