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Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure

Kyphoplasty (Balloon Vertebroplasty) Animation:


The balloon kyphoplasty surgery procedure is a minimally invasive orthopedic surgery that stabilizes spinal fractures, thereby reducing pain and correcting vertebral deformity. Studies report the following benefits of having the balloon kyphoplasty procedure:

  • Correction of vertebral body deformity
  • Significant reduction in back pain
  • Improvement in quality of life
  • Increased mobility and the ability to perform daily activities
  • Reduction in the number of days per month that a patient remains in bed
  • Low complication rate (less than 1 percent)

The Balloon Kyphoplasty Surgery Procedure

During the balloon kyphoplasty procedure, the spine specialist will use a needle and a tube to create a small pathway into the fractured bone. A small, orthopedic balloon is guided through the tube into the vertebra. The incision site is approximately 1 cm in length.

During the balloon kyphoplasty surgery, 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, or cavity, in the vertebral body. Once the vertebra is in the correct position, the balloon is deflated and removed. The cavity is then filled with bone cement, forming an "internal cast" to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse. The balloon kyphoplasty procedure is generally done on both sides of the vertebral body.

The balloon kyphoplasty procedure typically takes about one hour per fracture and may require an overnight hospital stay. The balloon kyphoplasty procedure can be done using either local or general anesthesia; the balloon kyphoplasty surgeon will determine the most appropriate method based on the patient’s overall condition.

Balloon Kyphoplasty Surgery Insurance Coverage

In most cases, Medicare provides coverage for the balloon kyphoplasty surgery. Other insurance plans often also cover the balloon kyphoplasty procedure.

The balloon kyphoplasty procedure is not for everyone, and prescription is required. A patient seeking balloon kyphoplasty surgery should consult his/her physician for a full discussion of risks and whether the balloon kyphoplasty surgery procedure is recommended.