Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures using Balloon Kyphoplasty

What is Balloon Kyphoplasty?

Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive technique used in the treatment of vertebral compression fractures. The procedure aims to restore the fractured vertebra to its pre-fracture shape, and stabilise the fracture with special bone cement. One of the main elements for this treatment is that stabilizing the fracture can give almost immediate pain relief for the patient.

Who is this treatment suitable for?

Patients with vertebral compression fractures due to osteoporosis, metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma or trauma could benefit from Balloon Kyphoplasty. Early diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures will allow earlier and more effective treatment.

Symptoms of Vertebral Compression Fractures:

  • Severe back pain. This usually comes on suddenly, and often without a history of trauma. The pain is usually constantly present, and worse on moving around.
  • Lying down may make your pain worse, though some people find it helpful.
  • Loss of height with an increasing curvature of your back.

The diagnosis of a fracture is confirmed with an x-ray and prior to having a Balloon Kyphoplasty you will also need to have a MRI scan. Patients unable to go into a MRI scanner will have a bone scan instead.

What does having a Balloon Kyphoplasty involve?

The procedure involves two small incisions in the skin and insertion of two small, very strong balloons into the fractured bone. The balloons are inflated inside the fractured vertebral body to try and return the bone to its normal shape. Once the vertebral body shape and associated deformity is corrected, the balloons are deflated and removed, creating space to inject special bone cement at low pressure. As the cement sets, it stabilises the affected vertebra. (See video below).

Balloon Kyphoplasty is normally carried out under a general anaesthetic, but it can also be done under sedation and local anaesthetic.

How long do I need to stay in for this procedure?

Typically patients are discharged home the same day, although some patients require an overnight stay in hospital and the procedure itself normally takes between 30 minutes to an hour. If you have more than one fracture, your Consultant can treat more than one fracture at the same time. 

What should you do if you suspect you are suffering with Vertebral Compression Fractures?

You should make an appointment to visit your GP, if you have private medical insurance you can request a referral letter to see one of our specialist Spinal Consultants who will be able to arrange the relevant diagnostic tests to confirm.  If you do not have private medical insurance but wish to pay for your treatment yourself you can call us for a guide price on 01582 714420.

Our Consultants able to treat Vertebral Compression Fractures using Kyphoplasty are:
(Please click on each name to read their full profile)

Mr Peter Dyson

Mr James Langdon

Mr Nana Osei 

Mr Philip Sheard

Mr Tamer Sherief 




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