Osteoporosis and osteopenia secondary to steroid use and chemotherapy treatment can commonly result in vertebral compression fractures. Considerable evidence demonstrates that balloon kyphoplasty is a treatment option with good to excellent results in adults. Despite some evidence for kyphoplasty use in a pediatric population, no formal indication for this population has been outlined.
A recent study conducted by Hoashi et al (2016), investigated the outcomes of chronically ill children with intractable pain from vertebral compression fractures, managed with kyphoplasty. A numeric rating scale of 0 to 10 was used for patient-reported pain, before and after kyphoplasty. Preoprative pain scores were 8 to 9, severely affecting their physical function including independent walking.
Following balloon kyphoplasty interventon, all of the patients reported significant pain relief (range, 0 to 2) and improved physical function with kyphoplasty. There were no complications related to kyphoplasty. Hoashi et al (2016) have concluded that balloon kyphoplasty appears to be safe in terminally ill children and may be a useful tool for managing intractable pain due to vertebral compression fractures.