Balloon kyphoplasty is a relatively new procedure for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures. Vertebral compression fractures can occur as a result of trauma or as a complication of osteoporosis or thinning of bone. People who experience vertebral compression fractures may experience pain and problems with posture. Balloon kyphoplasty is a procedure designed to treat this condition. This procedure involves a surgeon using a needle to place a strong balloon within the soft bone of the compressed vertebrae. The balloon is expanded, and a cavity is created within the collapsed vertebral body. This newly formed cavity is then filled with bone cement that provides support to the weak bones. Generally, this procedure can be accomplished in under an hour and the patient can be discharged the day of the operation.
There are specific risks with balloon kyphoplasty that include but are not limited to the progression of the fracture, pinched nerves requiring further surgery, and migration of the cement into the spinal canal or into the veins around the spine. In severe cases, cement has been reported to migrate to the lungs causing serious problems. Please ask your surgeon about this procedure.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.