Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty

What is it?

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spine.  The procedure is designed to stabilize the fractured bone and possibly restore some of the body height loss of the fractured vertebral body.  These fractures are commonly the result of osteoporosis, injury, or secondary to tumor.


The diagnosis of a compression fracture is oftentimes initially made by an x-ray of the back and confirmed by a CT scan or MRI.


  • Using general anesthesia or moderate sedation, a small needle is advanced into the fractured bone from the back under real-time x-ray guidance. No incision or stitches are necessary.
  • Once the needle is confirmed in the correct position within the fractured bone, either a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is injected into the bone (vertebroplasty) or a balloon is first inserted into the bone to create a space for delivery of the cement (kyphoplasty).
  • The cement hardens quickly which stabilizes the bone
  • Following treatment, over 75% of patients will have regained lost mobility, improved activity, and at least some relief of pain.

After Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty:

  • You will be observed for a couple hours following the procedure before being discharged home the same day.
  • You should not drive the day of the procedure following anesthesia or as long as taking prescription pain medications.
  • You should rest after the procedure and avoid heavy lifting the week following the procedure.
  • The majority (>75%) of patients will have improvement in symptoms in the days to follow the procedure.