Balloon Kyphoplasty


Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical technique to treat vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, spinal injury or cancer.

How Do I Know I Have A Fracture?

Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease that results in a reduction of bone mass predisposing the patient to an increased risk of vertebral and other fractures. Of all the fractures vertebral compression fractures (insufficiency fractures) are the most common but the least treated in the past.

If you experience sudden acute pain in your back after a minor fall or other minor incident (lifting heavy weight, jumping) consult your doctor and ask him to take an x-ray of your spine. The best way, however, to diagnose a fresh fracture of the spine is to do a MRI study with STIR weighted images. It is important to do this sooner than later because the fracture can become untreatable quickly.

Kyphoplasty Objectives

  • Take away the pain caused by the fracture.
  • Internally splint the fracture.
  • Prevent deformity or to restore deformity depending on the age of the fracture.
  • Increase mobility and preventing more bone loss caused by bed rest.
  • Prevent the use of pain and anti-inflammatory medications and the use of external splints.

How Is Kyphoplasty Done?

Kyphoplasty is done under a light general anaesthesia. Under sterile conditions and with x-ray positioning in place, a guide pin is passed through skin into the fractured vertebral body on both sides. After several more steps to ensure correct placement of the working channels two inflatable balloons is passed inside the vertebral body into the fracture. The balloons are slowly inflated to try and restore height loss caused by the fracture and also to create a bone void.

A needle is passed into the fractured vertebra

Inflatable balloons are passed inside the vertebral body

The balloons are then removed and through the same working channels bone cement is introduced in the void created by the balloons. The cement is introduced slowly and in a low flow state so that the surgeon has control over the flow of the cement. The instruments are removed and dressings applied. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes per level.

Cement is introduced in the void

The fractured vertebra restored

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After surgery the patient may sit and walk with no support and usually leaves the hospital the same day or next morning. If you develop severe pain any time after surgery you have a new fracture until proven otherwise.

Who Does Kyphoplasty?

The company Kyphon makes sure that surgeons are fully trained and capable to do this delicate procedure which is very safe in the right hands. For more information please visit

Dr Szabo is one of the specialist surgeons in the country accredited to perform the procedure.



1Why do I need balloon kyphoplasty?
Balloon kyphoplasty is a surgery done minimally invasively to treat osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. A surgical balloon is placed within the collapsed vertebral body and is inflated to elevate the broken bone pieces. This technique helps reposition the broken pieces in a fixed position. After Dr Szabo removes the balloon, a cavity remains. He then fills the space with bone cement.
2What is an osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture?
An osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture occurs when a vertebral body within the spine breaks down and causes pain, loss of vertebral height and spinal deformity.
3How long does it take?
Balloon kyphoplasty can last between 45 minutes and an hour.