Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure during which an interventional radiologist stabilizes one or more injured bones in the spine (vertebrae) by injecting medical-grade cement into the injured areas.

Kyphoplasty is a type of vertebroplasty used to repair painful compression fractures in the spine, when all or part of a vertebra collapses. A common cause of these compression fractures is thinning of bones, or osteoporosis.

When is the procedure recommended?

Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty is typically recommended for patients who are too frail to undergo spinal surgery, whose vertebrae are too weak, or whose vertebral damage is due to a spinal tumor. Seventy-five to 90 percent of patients who undergo vertebroplasty will have complete or significant pain reduction, studies show.

Kyphoplasty may be recommended for vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis or for certain spinal fractures or vertebrae damaged by cancer. Kyphoplasty is a good option if conservative management is unsuccessful after 4 to 6 weeks and the patient is at risk of becoming bedridden. As a general rule, the earlier the procedure is performed, the better the chances are of achieving significant correction of spinal alignment.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedures are performed using fluoroscopy imaging as guidance.

The interventional radiologist with insert a small hollow needle and guide it to the injured bone. Once the tip of the needle is positioned correctly, a medical-grade orthopedic (bone) cement will be injected into the affected vertebra and left to harden.

During Kyphoplasty, the radiologist guides a special balloon through the tube into the vertebrate and then carefully inflates it. As the balloon inflates the fracture expands and returns to a more normal position. The balloon is then removed and the cavity is filled with bone cement.

What are the benefits?

  • Both procedures can provide rapid pain relief, which can last up to five years or more
  • Increases functional abilities and allows a return to previous level of activity without physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • Kyphoplasty can also correct fracture-related deformities
  • Following vertebroplasty, about 75 percent of patients regain lost mobility and become more active, which helps combat osteoporosis
  • No surgical incision is necessary - only a small nick in the skin that does not require stitches 


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