Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures performed to treat compression fractures of the spine. These fractures, which can be very painful and cause limited mobility, are commonly caused by osteoporosis, spinal tumors, and traumatic injury. Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures involve the placement of cement into the fractured vertebra through small, minimally invasive incisions in the skin under x-ray guidance.

In Vertebroplasty:

• A bone cement is injected under pressure directly into the fractured vertebra.

• Once in position, the cement hardens in about 10 minutes, congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra and providing immediate stability.

In Kyphoplasty:

• A balloon catheter is guided into the vertebra and inflated with a liquid under pressure.

• As the balloon inflates, it restores the collapse in the vertebra due to the fracture and corrects abnormal wedging of the broken vertebra.

• Once the balloon is maximally inflated, it is deflated and removed. The cavity created is filled with bone cement. The cement then hardens in place, maintaining any correction of collapse and wedging.

Both techniques are very effective at treating the pain associated with acute compression fractures. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can also assist in reducing pain medication needs and improving functional activity.