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Treatment / Kyphoplasty

What is Balloon Kyphoplasty?

The pain and loss of function that you experience after a spinal fracture can be extremely debilitating. At IVC, we perform balloon kyphoplasty to repair compression fractures of the spine. Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to repair spinal fractures that are often a result of trauma, osteoporosis, or cancer, and may be the procedure you need to eliminate pain and restore proper function to your spine.

How is Balloon Kyphoplasty Performed?

Prior to your balloon kyphoplasty, you will have undergone an examination and diagnostic imaging to determine the location and severity of the fracture. When you come in for the procedure, you will be made comfortable with either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on what you and your doctor previously decided. A small, one centimeter incision is made over the fractured bone, and a thin, hollow tube is inserted. A narrow orthopedic balloon is attached to the tip of the catheter, and introduced into the fractured bone. In most cases, two balloons are used – one on each side of the vertebrae – to support the bone and help it move back into the correct position.

Once the balloons have made their way into the bone, they are inflated, creating space within the fractured bone. The inflated balloons attempt to restore the vertebrae to it’s original, pre-compression height. Once the bone has been moved back to the correct position, the balloons are deflated and removed, leaving a cavity within the bone. Your doctor will then inject a quick-drying orthopedic bone cement into the space. Once it dries, the hardened cement will act as an internal cast on the inside of the fractured vertebrae, holding it in place while it heals.

Balloon kyphoplasty typically takes up to one hour per each fracture level that is treated. Depending on the severity of your fractures and your overall health, it can be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure.

Recovery and Results

If your balloon kyphoplasty procedure was performed on more than one vertebrae, your recovery may take a bit longer, but you should feel a reduction in pain within about a week following the procedure. Your doctor will provide you with all of the information about caring for yourself post-procedure, including follow-up visits, physical limitations, and when you can return to your normal activities.

Clinical studies have shown that patients who have undergone balloon kyphoplasty saw more improvement in a shorter period of time than those who had no treatment, with less back pain and greater improvement in function and quality of life. Additionally, because balloon kyphoplasty restores vertebral height, there is a reduction in kyphosis and other spinal misalignments.

Benefits and Risks

Benefits of balloon kyphoplasty versus those who did not undergo the procedure include:

  • More effective than nonsurgical care alone
  • Restores height and corrects stooping (kyphosis)
  • Pain reduction is three times greater in a shorter amount of time
  • Overall quality of life is greatly improved, and maintained even after two years post-procedure

Like any medical procedure, balloon kyphoplasty can have risks, although the incidence of complications is low. Risks include:

  • Cardiac events, embolism, or stroke
  • Infection
  • Leaking of bone cement into tissues or blood vessels

At IVC, we want to ensure your health and safety, so we will discuss your medical history and address any and all health conditions and potential risk factors before performing the procedure.

If you have a spinal fracture and are looking for relief from pain and restricted activities, call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment. We can help you to explore your options for treatment and find out if you are a good candidate for balloon kyphoplasty. Don’t live with pain and loss of quality of life – make an appointment today. You can also read our brochure on Spinal Fractures.

* This information about Kyphoplasty was reviewed by Dr. Jason R. Bauer. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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We are announcing that Interventional and Vascular Consultants will be closing as of March 10, 2023.

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Please know that we have greatly valued our relationship with you and wish you the best.


Jason Bauer, MD RVT
Michael Pfister, MD RVT

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