Kyphoplasty is a type of spine surgery used to treat severe vertebral compression fractures, usually associated with osteoporosis, tumors or cancer.

Kyphoplasty is similar to another procedure called vertebroplasty in that both involve the injection of a cement-like substance during a minimally invasive procedure. However, there are some key differences during vertebroplasty, including the method of injection for the cement-like substance.

How kyphoplasty is performed

During kyphoplasty, the surgeon will make a small incision in the back and then insert a tube into the site of the fractured vertebra. Then, a surgical balloon is moved through the tube and inflated in the area where the spine has collapsed. This helps push the fractured vertebra back to its normal position.

The next step is to fill the balloon with bone cement. As soon as the cement hardens, the surgeon removes the tube and closes the small incision. Patients who have kyphoplasty back surgery can normally go home the same day as the surgery.

Vertebroplasty and other treatments

Like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty is a relatively new procedure and remains somewhat controversial. Kyphoplasty was derived from vertebroplasty, which was the subject of a 2009 Mayo Clinic study that concluded a placebo procedure provided just as much pain relief as vertebroplasty.

It is standard for physicians to recommend exhausting more conservative treatment options before considering a procedure such as kyphoplasty. Commonly recommended treatments include:

• Pain medication
• Rest
• Physical therapy
• Rehabilitation exercise
• A back brace

Other minimally invasive options

If you have been diagnosed with a compression fracture in the past but have experienced a recent flare-up of symptoms, you should see your doctor or specialist for an updated diagnosis. It is possible that your neck or back pain is related to another spinal condition, such as degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis. Similar to the nonsurgical alternatives for kyphoplasty, conservative treatments can often help manage the symptoms for most spinal conditions.

However, if chronic neck or back pain persists even after weeks or months of these methods, a physician may discuss surgery with you. Laser Spine Institute offers a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open back surgery. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute use minimally invasive surgical techniques to access the spine and decompress nerves with smaller incisions that spare muscles and reduce recovery time^ compared to traditional open back surgery.

To learn more about becoming a candidate, reach out to our Care Team today for a no-cost review of your MRI report.*