What is Kyphoplasty?

Similar to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty may be used on patients who suffer  compression fractures of the vertebral bodies in  the spine. Kyphoplasty offers the potential to restore bone height in the vertebra and reverse deformity of the spine that can cause pain. This procedure is most effective if performed within 8 weeks following the injury or onset of the fracture. Delaying will result in the fracture starting to heal and not being able to regain bone height. Your physician can determine what procedure will have the best outcome.

Procedure Details

As in vertebroplasty, a patient undergoing kyphoplasty lies face down. The physician advances a thin tube into the fractured vertebra from an incision in the back. Through the tube, the physician drills a small hole through the hard, outer part of the bone and into its softer center. This provides a pathway for the physician to insert a special balloon into the interior of the vertebra, which is then inflated. This pushes apart the caps, or end plates, of the fractured vertebra, and restores the vertebra to its original shape as much as possible. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that the physician fills with bone cement. Either local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used in these procedures.

Kyphoplasty can be performed on patients who:

  • are too elderly or frail to tolerate open spinal surgery, or whose bones are too weak for surgical repair
  • have vertebral compression due to a tumor.
  • suffer from osteoporosis compression fractures
  • have osteoporosis due to long-term steroid treatment or a metabolic disorder