Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal procedure used to treat painful fractures or injuries to vertebra, or the small bones that make up the spinal column. When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain. These compression fractures, which may involve the collapse of one more vertebrae in the spine, are a common symptom and result of osteoporosis
A patient undergoing Kyphoplasty lies face down. The physician advances a thin tube into the fractured vertebra from an incision in the back. Through the tube, the physician drills a small hole through the hard, outer part of the bone and into its softer center. This provides a pathway for the physician to insert the balloon into the interior of the vertebra, which is then inflated. This pushes apart the caps, or end plates, of the fractured vertebra, and restores the vertebra to its original shape as much as possible.
The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that the physician fills with bone cement. This procedure is done with local anesthesia. After the procedure, patients lie flat on their backs for a period of time while the cement hardens.