Kyphoplasty is used to treat painful compression fractures in the spine. In a compression fracture, all or part of a spine bone collapses.
The procedure is also called balloon kyphoplasty.
Kyphoplasty is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic.
You lie face down on a table. The health care provider cleans the area of your back and applies medicine to numb the area.
A needle is placed through the skin and into the spine bone. Real-time x-ray images are used to guide the doctor to the correct area in your lower back.
A balloon is placed through the needle, into the bone, and then inflated. This restores the height of the vertebrae. Cement is then injected into the space to make sure it does not collapse again.
A common cause of compression fractures of the spine is thinning of your bones, or osteoporosis. Your health care provider may recommend this procedure if you have severe and disabling pain for 2 months or more that does not get better with bed rest, pain medicines, and physical therapy.
Your provider may also recommend this procedure if you have a painful compression fracture of the spine due to:
Kyphoplasty is generally safe. Complications may include:
Before surgery, always tell your health care provider:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
You will probably go home on the same day of the surgery. You should not drive, unless your provider says it is OK.
After the procedure:
People who have kyphoplasty often have less pain and a better quality of life after the surgery. They often need fewer pain medicines, and can move better than before.
Anselmetti GC, Muto M, Guglielmi G, et al. Percutaneous vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Radiol Clin North Am. 2010;48(3):641-9. PMID: 20609898
Berenson J, Pflugmacher R, Jarzem P, et al; Cancer Patient Fracture Evaluation (CAFE) Investigators. Balloon kyphoplasty versus non-surgical fracture management for treatment of painful vertebral body compression fractures in patients with cancer: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2011;12(3):225-35. PMID: 21333599
Wardlaw D, Cummings SR, Van Meirhaeghe J, et al. Efficacy and safety of balloon kyphoplasty compared with non-surgical care for vertebral compression fracture (FREE): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2009;373(9668):1016-24. PMID: 19246088
Williams KD. Fractures, dislocations, and fracture-dislocations of the spine. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 38.
Last reviewed on: 7/13/2015
Reviewed by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.