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Balloon Kyphoplasty

Balloon kyphoplasty: A minimally invasive procedure that fills the fractured bone with cement and relieves back pain
Vertebral body: the bones in the back
Compression fracture: A flattening of the bones in the back which usually cause significant pain

What Are The Causes Of Compression Fractures?

Most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis, however other causes include tumors, infection and trauma.

How Is This Diagnosed?

  • Your doctor will obtain a thorough history and examine your spine and your strength, reflexes and sensations.
  • Your doctor may order imaging tests to look at the spine.
  • CT (computed tomography): you will be placed in a scanner for a brief period of time. This pictures show the fractures in the bone very well.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): this produces images using a magnet and radio waves. These pictures show the muscles, and nerves very well, and allow the physician to determine if the fracture is new or old.

Risks And Possible Complications

As with any surgery there are small, but possible complications. For kyphoplasty these include:

  • Weakness, numbness, new or worse painBalloon Kyphoplasty
  • Paralysis
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • Infection
  • Additional bone fractures
  • Bleeding
  • Pneumothorax–air leak into the chest cavity.

There Are 4 Possible Outcomes From Any Surgery

  • Your symptoms or pain may be completely improved.
  • Your symptoms or pain may be partially improved.
  • Your symptoms or pain may be the same as before surgery.
  • Your symptoms or pain may be worse than before surgery.

The Surgery

The surgeon makes a 3 mm incision on one side of the back and a small tube is passed into the bone using x-ray guidance. Next a balloon is passed into the vertebral body and is inflated to provide room for the special cement. The liquid cement is inserted which quickly hardens. This procedure is usually repeated on the other side of the back. It is routine for the surgeon to collect a bone specimen (biopsy) studies to make sure the bone does not have evidence of tumor or infection. The procedure takes 45 minutes to 1 hour for a single level. Patients usually go home the next day.

After Surgery

You may have some soreness at the incision site immediately after surgery and will be encouraged to rest. However, you will be encouraged to walk the next day. Some patients may be encouraged to wear a lumbar brace for back support as the back heals.


Precision Spine Care is the only spine center in East Texas to be included in Spine Center Network, an exclusive national listing of credentialed spine centers of excellence. Click here to learn more.

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