Spine & Neurosciences Institute

Kyphosis

Each year, thousands of people suffer debilitating compression fractures of the spine – often because of osteoporosis or cancer, which make bones weaker and make them more susceptible to fracture.

When vertebrae fracture, they cause the vertebral bone to collapse. When multiple fractures occur, they can lead to kyphosis, which can be painful and debilitating. Luckily, a procedure called balloon kyphoplasty is available to help correct the condition and relieve symptoms.

What is kyphosis?

Kyphosis, also called hunchback, refers to the curvature or bowing of the upper back as a result of multiple compression fractures. It can occur in people of any age, but is more likely to affect older individuals.

Symptoms include:
  • Slouching

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Back pain

  • Tenderness of the spine

Balloon Kyphoplasty

Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that helps people who suffer from compression fractures and kyphosis by restoring bone height and relieving spinal compression. The surgery generally takes about one hour, and patients typically stay overnight in the hospital.

During a balloon kyphoplasty procedure, a small pathway is surgically created to access the collapsed vertebra. Then, a small balloon is inflated to return the bone to its normal position. The balloon is removed, and the newly created space is filled with bone cement. With restored bone height, the spinal deformity is corrected.

Balloon kyphoplasty can relieve severe pain associated with kyphosis and has allowed both men and women to return to their normal activities. Balloon kyphoplasty also can help with other medical problems, such as respiratory problems, falls and immobility.