Balloon kyphoplasty is a spine surgery that relieves back pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture. Osteoporosis (bone disease) is the primary cause of vertebral compression fractures. Other causes include trauma such as a fall or motor vehicle accident, and some types of cancers affecting the spinal vertebrae. The aim of balloon kyphoplasty is to relieve pain, stabilize the fracture and restore the vertebral body height.
Your doctor recommends balloon kyphoplasty if you have severe pain and deformity that is not relieved by non-surgical treatment modes including rest, pain medications, and braces.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, you will lie face down on the operating table. A small incision is made in the back through which a narrow tube is inserted into the compressed vertebra under the guidance of live X-ray. Then a special balloon is inserted through this tube and carefully inflated. This elevates the fracture and restores the vertebra to its original height. The balloon is then deflated and removed leaving behind an open cavity. The cavity is filled with bone cement with the help of miniature surgical instruments. The cement hardens within a few minutes and stabilizes the bone.
You may experience significant pain relief following surgery and will be allowed to get up and walk. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication if necessary and recommend a rehabilitation program to strengthen your spinal muscles. You should avoid strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks.
As with any surgery, balloon kyphoplasty may be associated with certain complications which include infection, nerve or spinal cord injury and cement particles entering the blood or spinal fluid.