Balloon Kyphoplasty

Almost everyone has experienced back pain in one form or another, but would you know if it was a sign of something serious? Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and in many cases, a fracture in the spine is the source of the chronic pain. Known as a vertebral compression fracture (VCF), the pain comes on suddenly and persists, despite rest and pain medication.

KYPHON® Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that can repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions. The procedure uses orthopedic balloons to lift the fractured bone and return it to its correct position. A medical-grade cement is then used to fill in the bone and stabilize the fracture. Kyphoplasty exclusively treats bone fractures and is not an effective treatment for arthritis.

People suffering from osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease, are at a greater risk for bone fractures, which is precisely what happened to 51-year-old Olga.

While on Christmas vacation in Ireland, Olga tripped, lost her balance and landed forcefully on the bottom of her spine. The pain was so intense and overwhelming that it prevented her from standing up straight. X-rays showed that Olga suffered a T-12 vertebrae fracture in her lower lumbar region. After spending three days in a hospital bed, Olga was fitted with a custom back brace, which she wore on her trip back to the U.S.

Olga found the brace to be restrictive and tiresome, and the pain did not seem to improve. An MRI showed that, despite wearing the brace, her spinal fracture had failed to heal properly. The scan also showed that Olga had osteoporosis, which not only exacerbated the pain, but likely caused her injury to be more severe and difficult to heal.

Balloon Kyphoplasty: How It Works
Olga visits orthopedic spine surgeon Bill Tontz, Jr., M.D. to discuss the groundbreaking treatment for her spinal fracture and chronic back pain.

Balloon Kyphoplasty: The Procedure
See how surgical balloons and medical-grade cement are used to restore height to compacted vertebrae and stabilize spinal fractures. Plus, see how Olga is recovering after undergoing the procedure.

“Osteoporosis is a silent disease,” Dr. Tontz explains. “A lot of times, people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they come to the office with a broken back, or a broken hip or a broken wrist. If you have pain that doesn’t go away, get evaluated.”

• To learn more about Medtronic-sponsored, FDA-approved KYPHON® Balloon Kyphoplasty, visit or call (888) 953-1234 to speak with a Customer Service Representative.

Surprising causes of lower back pain.
Identifying the source of back pain.
Exercises to reduce back pain.