Patients' Guide To
Spinal Fractures & Kyphoplasty

Balloon Kyphoplasty Video

Minimally invasive treatment for spinal vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.

How common is osteoporosis and what is its role in the development of spinal fracture?
About 10 million people in the United States have osteoporosis, a metabolic bone disease that weakens the density or strength of your bones and makes them prone to fracture. A common type of spinal fracture causes by osteoporosis is a vertebral compression fracture, abbreviated VCF. In fact, osteoporosis causes or contributes to nearly 2 million bone fractures each year.1
Normal bone versus bone with osteoporosisOsteoporosis causes or contributes to nearly 2 million bone fractures each year. Photo Source: is Balloon Kyphoplasty?
Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally surgical treatment option for patients who experience a VCF. The featured video shares one patient’s story about vertebral compression fracture and kyphoplasty treatment.

What is a vertebral compression fracture?
A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the structural strength or density of a vertebral body weakens to the point of either directly causing or contributing to the develop of a spinal fracture. Osteoporosis is a common cause of loss of bone mass density because the disease disrupts the body’s ability to replace old bone and rebuilt new strong bone.

A VCF can cause the affected vertebral body to compress, possibly become wedge-shaped, and lose height changing the normal alignment of the spine.

What is the most common symptom of VCF?
Severe back pain is a common and classic symptom. The pain can be debilitating and interfere with performance of daily activities, ability to work, and hinders mobility.

Other symptoms may be neurological in nature, such as weakness, tingling sensations or numbness. These types of symptoms may be caused by spinal nerve compression (eg, pinched nerve) resulting from the loss of vertebral body height reducing the space around nerve roots.

Detecting the VCF and Treatment
A simple x-ray can quickly reveal if your back pain is caused by a vertebral compression fracture.

Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spine procedure performed to restore lost vertebral body height and stabilize the VCF. This surgical procedure can help to reduce back pain, increase functional ability and mobility, and reduce the risk for spinal deformity (eg, from multiple vertebral compression fractures).

Are you interested in learning more about balloon kyphoplasty? This video presentation features patient and physician interviews and a discussion of the procedure.

If you have a spinal compression fracture and are a candidate for spine surgery, talk to your doctor about whether balloon kyphoplasty is the right treatment approach for you.

As with any surgery, balloon kyphoplasty has potential risks. Although balloon kyphoplasty is designed to minimize these risks as much as possible, there is a chance that complications could occur. Serious adverse events can occur, including myocardial infarction (heart attack), cerebrovascular accident (stroke), pulmonary embolism (cement leakage that migrates to the lungs), cardiac arrest (heart stops beating), paralysis or muscle weakness, death. Patients should consult with their doctor for a full discussion of risks.

Updated on: 05/15/19
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