Pain Relief from Spinal Compression Fractures with Kyphoplasty

Sep 13

Kyphoplasty, also known as balloon kyphoplasty, is a minor procedure which restores a fractured vertebrae to a normal height to relieve a patient’s pain and to gain mobility. Those who opt for this procedure shortly after a fracture can experience pain-free symptoms and go back to normal activities without the need for as many pain medications. Kyphoplasty patients experience more movement in their bodies after the procedure, usually without need for additional physical therapy or rehabilitation.

The Kyphoplasty Procedure

  1. X-rays are taken of the spinal fracture and the physician assesses the fractured vertebrae. (Fig. 1)
  2. After the patient receives either local or general anesthesia, a small incision is made in order to place a tube that leads to the fractured area. (Fig. 2)
  3. A medical balloon is inserted into the tube and then into the vertebrae where it is then inflated in order to raise the fractured vertebrae to its previous height. (Fig. 3)
  4. The balloon is then taken out and a material is injected, similar to cement, which hardens in the cavity that the balloon produced. The vertebrae returns to normal height and is now stabilized. (Fig. 4)


  • Total procedure time is usually one hour per damaged vertebrae
  • Patients can walk an hour after procedure
  • A short-term stay of usually one day is required
  • Pain relief is usually immediate or within one to two days of procedure
  • Non-strenuous regular activities can be performed within a week after the procedure
  • Many patients are symptom-free after procedure
  • Kyphoplasty incision is non-surgical and does not need to be stitched

Pain Relief from Spinal Compression Fractures

Patients who are suffering from fractured spinal injuries are candidates for the kyphoplasty. The procedure is ideal for younger, mostly healthy, individuals as healing is faster. Often this is performed shortly after an accident or fall. It is also appropriate for those who have a herniated disk with nerve or spinal cord compression or spinal stenosis. For best success, kyphoplasty should be performed within 8 weeks of injury/fracture.

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