If you have been diagnosed with a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign tumors, balloon kyphoplasty is a treatment option you may want to consider. Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can significantly reduce back pain and repair the broken bone of a spinal fracture.
The procedure is called balloon kyphoplasty because orthopaedic balloons are used to lift the fractured bone and return it to the correct position.
Before the procedure, you will have a medical exam and undergo diagnostic studies such as X-rays, to determine the precise location of the fracture. Balloon kyphoplasty can be done under local or general anesthesia—your physician will decide which option is appropriate for you.
Balloon kyphoplasty takes about one hour per fracture treated. It can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on medical necessity. After the procedure, you will likely be transferred to the Recovery Room for about an hour for observation.
While in the hospital, you may be encouraged to walk and move about. Patients usually report immediate relief from pain [17,19,29] and are able to walk and move about during their hospital stay.
How Balloon Kyphoplasty Works
Your doctor will probably schedule a follow-up visit and explain limitations, if any, on your activity. Most patients report being satisfied with the procedure and are gradually able to resume activity once discharged from the hospital.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and serious adverse events can occur. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor.
Also, please note that not all patients are candidates for balloon kyphoplasty.
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After the Procedure
As with any surgery, there are potential risks. Although balloon kyphoplasty is designed to minimize these risks as much as possible, there is a chance that complications could occur. Serious adverse events can occur including:
myocardial infarction (heart attack)
cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
pulmonary embolism (cement leakage that migrates to the lungs)
cardiac arrest (heart stops beating)
paralysis or muscle weakness
Patients should consult with their doctor for a full discussion of risks.