What is Kyphoplasty Surgery? Everything You Need to Know

Dealing with back pain can be a debilitating experience, and finding an effective treatment can seem daunting. One innovative solution to alleviate spinal fractures is Kyphoplasty surgery.

In this blog post, we'll explore everything you need to know about this minimally invasive procedure, from its purpose and benefits to the surgical process itself.

Key Takeaways

  • Kyphoplasty surgery is a minimally invasive spine surgery that treats fractures in the bones of the spine by inflating a balloon-like device to create space and stabilize vertebrae.
  • This innovative method can significantly improve quality of life, alleviate pressure on nerves surrounding broken vertebrae, restore some vertebral height lost as a result of compression fractures, and reduce pain caused by spinal fractures.
  • Candidates for kyphoplasty surgery include those with painful spinal fractures caused by conditions like osteoporosis or other factors affecting bone density. Patients should consult an expert orthopedic surgeon who can guide them throughout the process to achieve better outcomes.

Kyphoplasty Surgery: Definition, Purpose, And Benefits

Kyphoplasty Surgery explained

Kyphoplasty surgery is a surgical procedure that involves inflating a balloon-like device in the bone to create space and treat fractures in the bones of the spine, providing rapid pain relief caused by spinal fractures and returning vertebrae to normal shape.

Treating Fractures In The Bones Of The Spine

Kyphoplasty surgery offers a minimally invasive solution for treating spinal fractures, specifically those resulting from osteoporosis or other bone-weakening conditions.

By addressing the underlying cause of back pain and discomfort, this innovative procedure can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from spinal fractures.

The primary goal of kyphoplasty is to stabilize fractured vertebrae in the spine, providing much-needed relief from debilitating pain. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon inserts a specialized balloon-like device into the affected area of the spine and carefully inflates it to create space within the collapsed bone.

This process not only helps alleviate pressure on nerves surrounding broken vertebrae but also restores some vertebral height lost as a result of compression fractures.

Inflating A Balloon-like Device To Create Space

During kyphoplasty surgery, a small incision is made in the patient's back and a balloon-like device is inserted into the fractured bone of the spine. The surgeon then carefully inflates this device to create space within the vertebrae.

This helps restore height lost due to compression fractures caused by conditions like osteoporosis. Once enough space has been created, medical grade cement is injected through the hollow needle used to insert the balloon device.

This minimally invasive approach offers several advantages over traditional spinal surgery, such as smaller incisions, less blood loss, and shorter recovery times. In most cases, patients can go home on the same day or after an overnight stay at the hospital.

Relieving Pain Caused By Spinal Fractures

Kyphoplasty surgery is an effective way to relieve pain caused by spinal or vertebral fractures. When a vertebra collapses or breaks, it can put pressure on the nerves in the back and cause significant discomfort.

Kyphoplasty inflates a balloon-like device inside the bone to create space, which helps reduce the pain and restore mobility. This minimally invasive procedure can provide almost immediate relief for patients who have been suffering from severe back pain due to a vertebral compression fracture (VCFs). 

Advantages And Benefits Of The Surgery

Kyphoplasty surgery offers several advantages and benefits for those suffering from spinal fractures. One major benefit is the significant reduction in pain caused by vertebral compression fractures.

Another advantage of kyphoplasty is its ability to restore the lost height of fractured vertebrae, which can improve posture and reduce deformity caused by the fracture.

Moreover, unlike traditional open surgeries for spinal injuries, kyphoplasty requires only small incisions that minimize scarring and recovery time while reducing risks associated with more invasive procedures.

Overall, Kyphoplasty is an effective option for relieving painful compression fractures and improving posture without requiring extensive surgical intervention or long-term hospital stays.

How Kyphoplasty Surgery Works

back pain relief

During the Kyphoplasty surgery, a small incision will be made in your back. A balloon-like device is inserted through this incision and inflated to create space. This procedure can restore height to the vertebral body, making it less likely to collapse again.

Step-by-step Process Of The Surgery

Kyphoplasty surgery involves several steps that aim to treat fractures in the bones of the spine.

  1. The patient is positioned face down on a specialized operating table.
  2. The surgeon makes a small incision in the back and inserts a narrow tube called a trocar into the collapsed vertebral body.
  3. Using X - ray guidance, the surgeon guides the trocar into position until it is inside the bone.
  4. The surgeon then inflates a balloon - like device called an inflatable bone tamp or balloon kyphoplasty to create space within the vertebrae.
  5. This creates a cavity that allows bone cement to be injected.
  6. After removing the balloon, bone cement is injected into the cavity to stabilize and strengthen the vertebral body.
  7. The entire procedure takes about 1 - 2 hours per vertebrae treated and is performed under local anesthesia.


Kyphoplasty surgery is an effective way to treat painful compression fractures in patients with osteoporosis or other spinal injuries. While there are potential risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure, such as infection or bleeding, most patients experience relief from pain and improved quality of life after kyphoplasty surgery.

Potential Risks And Complications

As with any surgery, kyphoplasty does come with potential risks and complications. Some of the possible risks include infection, nerve damage allergic reactions, bleeding or blood clots, anesthesia-related problems, and cement leakage from the bone.

However, it's important to note that these complications are rare and occur in less than 1% of cases.

It's essential to discuss all potential risks and benefits with your orthopedic surgeon before undergoing kyphoplasty surgery. Your doctor will evaluate your overall health status and make sure you're a suitable candidate for this type of procedure based on your age, medical history, X-ray results, and other factors that can affect the success of the surgery.

Anesthesia And Recovery Time

During kyphoplasty surgery, patients will be given a general anesthesia or conscious sedation to keep them comfortable and minimize pain during the procedure. The length of time it takes to recover from the procedure varies from patient to patient, but generally, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few hours after the surgery.

They may experience some mild discomfort at first, but this usually subsides within a few days. Patients are typically able to return home on the same day as their operation and resume their normal activities within a week or two.

Who Is A Candidate For Kyphoplasty Surgery?

Candidates for kyphoplasty surgery include those with painful spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis or other conditions. Factors like age, overall health, and bone density also affect candidacy.

Types Of Spinal Fractures That Can Be Treated

Kyphoplasty surgery is primarily used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. These fractures occur when a vertebrae bone in the spine is weakened and compressed, causing it to collapse or fracture and possibly cause a pain tingling effect.

VCFs are most often caused by osteoporosis, but they can also be due to trauma or cancer that affects the spinal bones. Kyphoplasty can be used to treat different types of VCFs, including wedge fractures, a painful compression fracture, and crush fractures.

Wedge fractures happen when one side of a vertebra collapses while crush fractures involve both sides of the vertebra collapsing inwardly.

Factors That Affect Candidacy

Not everyone who has a compression fracture in their spine is a good candidate for kyphoplasty surgery. Factors such as the age of the patient, overall health, and severity of the fracture will be taken into account before deciding whether or not to proceed with treatment.

In addition, patients who suffer from chronic illnesses like heart disease or lung disease may face increased risks during surgery and recovery. A thorough evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon will help determine if this procedure is safe and appropriate for each individual case.

Preoperative Preparation And Evaluation

Before undergoing kyphoplasty surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will perform several evaluations and preoperative preparations to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Your doctor will examine details like your bone density levels to determine the cause of the fracture and plan appropriate treatment accordingly.

It is essential that you inform your healthcare provider of any allergies or chronic health conditions to minimize any complications during anesthesia administration.

Recovery And Aftercare For Kyphoplasty Surgery

After the procedure, patients are required to rest for a short period and avoid any strenuous activities. Physical therapy may also be recommended to improve mobility and prevent future fractures.

Post-operative Care

After undergoing kyphoplasty surgery, it is important to follow a personalized post-operative care plan provided by your healthcare team. This may include specific instructions on physical activity, such as avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a certain period of time after surgery.

Your surgeon may recommend attending physical therapy sessions to help improve strength and mobility in the affected area.

It's important to note that while kyphoplasty is generally considered safe and effective, there are potential risks involved. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or complications associated with anesthesia.

Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation

After kyphoplasty surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial to help you regain mobility and strength. Your doctor or physical therapist may prescribe exercises tailored to your specific needs.

As you progress, weight-bearing exercises like walking or light resistance training may be added to help boost bone density.

Long-term outcomes after kyphoplasty can vary depending on factors such as age, general health, and the extent of the original injury.

Long-term Outcomes And Potential Side Effects

After undergoing kyphoplasty surgery, patients typically experience a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in their overall quality of life.

However, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential side effects associated with kyphoplasty. These can include infection at the incision site, nerve damage, bleeding or blood clots, and leakage of bone cement into surrounding tissue.

Additionally, it is crucial for patients who undergo kyphoplasty surgery to continue following the recommended post-operative care plan. This may involve physical therapy exercises to improve strength and flexibility in the spine and reduce the risk of future fractures.

Overall, while there are some potential risks associated with kyphoplasty surgery like any medical procedure; its benefits generally outweigh them making it an effective solution for managing spinal fractures resulting from conditions such as osteoporosis or other accidents causing spinal injury.

Resources For Further Information

If you or a loved one is experiencing spinal cord fractures and considering kyphoplasty surgery, it's important to do your research and gather information from reputable sources.

Your doctor can provide specific information about the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Additionally, organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) offer valuable resources online for patients seeking more information about treatment options for spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis.

The AAOS provides detailed descriptions of surgical procedures like kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty along with patient education materials on bone health and injury prevention.

The NOF offers helpful tips for managing osteoporosis-related pain and maintaining strong bones through exercise and proper nutrition.


Kyphoplastyvertebroplasty are considered minimally invasive procedures that are effective treatments for spinal fractures that cause severe pain and discomfort. By inflating a balloon-like device in the affected bone, space is created to restore it to its normal shape while creating pain relief.

It is commonly used to treat compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, but it can also be performed on other types of spinal injuries. Although there are risks associated with the procedure, its benefits outweigh them.