What is kyphoplasty?

This minimally-invasive medical procedure to stop pain from bone fractures in the spine caused by osteoporosis. The procedure is designed to provide back pain relief and help straighten the spine by restoring the height and angle of fractured vertebrae, followed by stabilizing the area with injected bone filler material.

The procedure has the best outcomes when it is performed before a compression fracture has healed, determined by an MRI or magnetic resonance image. During the surgery, small instruments are placed into the fractured vertebral body through a very small incision. Then an inflatable bone tamp is placed into the fracture. The device is carefully inflated, creating a cavity inside the vertebral body. The balloon is then deflated leaving a cavity that is filled with bone cement to stabilize he fracture. Once filled, the incision is closed. With the process completed, the “internal cast” is in place that stabilizes the vertebral body and provides rapid mobility and pain relief and decreasing spinal deformity as the vertebral body height is restored.

The alternative to kyphoplasty is a procedure called vertebroplasty. This is also minimally invasive and involves the injection of liquid cement into the fractured vertebra. Because the procedure does not use balloons, it does not allow for any significant restoration of height to improve spinal alignment.



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