For more information, please visit our Integrated Spine Care site
What is it?
Operation to treat compression fractures in the spine.
What is its goal?
Alleviate pain and prevent further collapse of the vertebrae.
How is it done?
A small incision is made in your back. Under x-ray guidance, a balloon is inserted and inflated into the fracture site. This elevates (raises) the vertebral body closer to its original height.
The balloon is then deflated and removed and the space it created within the bone is filled with “cement”. The cement hardens quickly and serves as a permanent “cast” within the bone. Surgery takes approximately one hour.
What are the risks?
There are always risks with any surgery. Potential complications include:
- Pain, numbness due to nerve manipulation
- Weakness, paralysis
- Incontinence or impotence
- Recurrence or continuation of pain.
- Injury to major blood vessels
How long will I stay in the hospital?
Typically you are able to go home the same day, but you may need to spend the night.
You will be given additional instructions on the day you are discharged which will include:
- Walk daily, gradually increasing time and distance. Avoid sitting or lying down for long periods as this will lead to pain and stiffness.
- Do not get overtired; balance periods of activity with rest periods.
- No driving while taking narcotic pain medication.
- You may go up and downstairs.
- Do not carry heavy items, such as groceries or laundry. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until told otherwise by your doctor.
- You should not need special equipment for home