A kyphoplasty procedure uses x-ray guidance to place a needle through a small incision in the back and into the vertebral compression fracture. After the needle is accurately placed, a balloon is slowly inflated to help restore vertebral height and form a new cavity. Bone cement is then injected into the new cavity and quickly hardens.
It alleviates pain by strengthening and solidifying the damaged vertebra.
Most vertebral compression fractures heal on their own as the pain eventually goes away. In cases where a vertebral compression fracture has been verified via x-ray and significant pain persists for more than a couple weeks despite nonsurgical treatments, kyphoplasty may be considered.
Other factors to consider before deciding on kyphoplasty also exist, such as whether the patient is healthy enough for surgery. For example, if the patient is of advanced age or has the compression fracture as a result of a bone infection, the surgery is unlikely to be well tolerated.