Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, orthopedic treatment that stabilizes spinal fractures, thereby reducing pain and correcting vertebral deformity.
What are the causes of Spinal Fractures?
Osteoporosis causes more than 700,000 spinal fractures each year in the U.S. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, this is more than twice the annual number of hip fractures.
Spinal fractures can also be caused by cancer, the most common being multiple myeloma, breast, lung and prostate. According to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the majority of patients with multiple myeloma – some 70 to 95% -- have progressive metastatic bone disease particularly in the spine, which increases the risk of fractures.
Some spinal fractures may collapse immediately while others collapse over time. Left untreated, one fracture can lead to subsequent fractures, often resulting in a condition called kyphosis, or rounded back. Kyphosis, signified by the dowager’s hump, compresses the chest and abdominal cavity, resulting in serious negative health consequences.
Tell me about Balloon Kyphoplasty -
The Balloon Kyphoplasty procedure typically takes about one hour per fracture and may require an overnight hospital stay. The procedure can be done using either local or general anesthesia; the surgeon will determine the most appropriate method, based on the patient’s overall condition.
In most cases, Medicare provides coverage for Balloon Kyphoplasty. Other insurance plans often also cover the procedure.
The Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure:
- Using a needle and tube, the spine specialist creates a small pathway into the fractured bone. A small, orthopaedic balloon is guided through the tube into the vertebra. The incision site is approximately 1 cm in length.
- The balloon is carefully inflated in an attempt to raise the collapsed vertebra and return it to its normal position. Inflation of the balloon creates a void (cavity) in the vertebral body.
- Once the vertebra is in the correct position, the balloon is deflated and removed.
- The cavity is filled with bone cement forming an “internal cast” to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse.
- Generally, the procedure is done on both sides of the vertebral body.
Although the complication rate with Balloon Kyphoplasty has been determined to be low, as with most surgical procedures, there are risks associated with the procedure, including serious complications. This procedure is not for everyone. A prescription is required. Please consult your physician for a full discussion of risks and whether this procedure is right for you.