Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to repair vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) by reducing and stabilizing the fractures. It treats pathological fractures of the vertebral body due to osteoporosis, cancer, or benign lesions.
Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone mass and deterioration in the micro architecture of bone tissue, causes more than 750,000 - 800,000 spinal fractures each year in the United States.1 Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fractures, yet approximately two-thirds are undiagnosed and untreated.2
The goal of balloon kyphoplasty surgery is to relieve pain, restore lost vertebral body height, and stabilize the fracture. The procedure involves the insertion of two inflatable bone tamps (balloons), or IBTs, into the vertebrae. The IBTs are inflated under volumetric control, reducing the fracture and pushing the endplates apart, thereby partially restoring vertebral height and correcting angular deformity.3 The newly formed cavity is filled with bone cement after IBT removal.
See what happens during the balloon kyphoplasty procedure (3:15).
Through a pair of small incisions, each approximately 1 cm in length, the specialty physician uses a needle and cannula to create a small pathway into each side of a fractured vertebral body. A small balloon is guided through each cannula into the vertebra. Each balloon is carefully inflated to raise the collapsed vertebra and return it to its normal position. Inflation of the balloon creates a void (cavity) in the vertebral body.
Once the vertebra is in the correct position, the balloons are deflated and removed. The resultant cavities are filled with bone cement forming an “internal cast” to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse.
The balloon kyphoplasty procedure typically takes about one hour per fracture and may be performed in an outpatient setting. The procedure can be done using either local or general anesthesia; the specialty physician will determine the most appropriate method, based on the patient’s overall condition.
For more than 20 years, Medtronic has been committed to gathering clinical data on balloon kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. Patients are central to our mission, and that’s why we support VCF research through randomized controlled trials and observational studies as well as big-data healthcare claims analysis.
View an evidence-based approach to managing VCF patients presenting with moderate to severe back pain.
Explore key studies that test the efficacy of Kyphon™ balloon kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fracture.
See studies evaluating mortality rates in patients treated with balloon kyphoplasty compared to other treatments.
Medtronic Data on File - Business Insights & Analytics, Sept 2019
Brunton S, Carmichael B, Gold D et al. Vertebral compression fractures in primary care: recommendations from a consensus panel. J Fam Pract. 2005;54(9):781-788.
Wardlaw D, Van Meirhaeghe J, Ranstam J, et al. Balloon kyphoplasty in patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2012 Jul;9(4):423-36.