This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat compression fractures of the spine. Plastic cement is used to hold a broken vertebra (spinal bone) together. This stabilizes your spine and reduces pain. The procedure is also called balloon vertebroplasty. Compression fractures in the middle (thoracic) and lower (lumbar) spine are common, especially in older women who have osteoporosis (weak or brittle spinal bones). You can have a compression fracture even without an injury.
You are anesthetized. Your doctor then uses a needle, guided with a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy, to place a small balloon device in the broken bone. The device is inflated to expand the broken bone, then removed. Plastic cement is injected to fill the cavity.
You might need kyphoplasty or a similar treatment called vertebroplasty to treat cancer that causes bone loss. This can include multiple myeloma.