Health Library

Kyphoplasty

Surgery Overview

Kyphoplasty (say "KY-foh-plas-tee") is a procedure for your back. It is done to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine. It can return your vertebrae to a more normal shape.

Your doctor may numb the area, or you may get medicine to make you sleep. The doctor makes a small cut in your back. Then the doctor puts a balloon device into a vertebra. The doctor inflates the balloon and then deflates it. Then a type of cement is put into the space created by the balloon.

It takes about an hour to treat each vertebra. You may go home that day, or you may spend the night in the hospital.

Most people are able to go back to their normal activities within a day.

How Well It Works

Experts don't all agree with how well kyphoplasty works. There is no strong evidence that kyphoplasty is better than nonsurgical treatment, such as pain medicine, rest, and exercise. If nonsurgical treatment doesn't help, kyphoplasty may be an option for some people.

Risks

Some possible problems from kyphoplasty include:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Infection.

Problems are more common when more than one vertebra is treated at the same time.

Talk to your doctor about how this surgery compares with other treatments you might have.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Carla J. Herman MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine