Balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) is a minimally invasive treatment that can repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis, cancer, or benign lesions. BKP can partially restore lost vertebral height, and can improve function and quality of life. The procedure can take up to an hour per fracture level treated and patients are normally released within an hour of treatment.
Balloon kyphoplasty is preformed through 3 simple steps:
- Under local anesthesia (numbing the specific part of the back where treatment will occur), a pathway is made into the fractured bone with a hollow instrument. Then, a small orthopedic balloon is guided through the instrument into the vertebral body. The incision site is approximately 1 cm long. The balloon is slowly inflated to gently elevate the fractured vertebra into its correct position.
- The inflation creates a cavity in the vertebral body and compacts the soft, inner bone against the outer wall. This cavity works as a receiver for the bone cement. When the vertebral body is in the right position the balloons are deflated and removed.
- Finally, the cavity is filled with thick bone cement to stabilize the fractured vertebra. The bone cement dries quickly and creates an internal cast that will hold the vertebral body in place.
Patients experience relief from spinal fracture pain in as little as one week after the procedure. Many patients return to normal activity in just a few days.
How Does Balloon Kyphoplasty Compare to Non-surgical Management?
Balloon Kyphoplasty was shown to be more effective than non-surgical care for the treatment of acute vertebral compression fractures. Patients had faster and greater improvement in back pain relief, back function and quality of life at one month after treatment.