What are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

When treating fractures in the spinal vertebrae, orthopedic spinal specialists can perform vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty as minimally invasive surgical procedures to repair the spinal column and prevent back pain.

During a vertebral fracture, the spinal vertebrae will lose stability and compress inward, putting pressure on the spinal nerve. This can cause intense pain, paresthesia and possibly paralysis. Patients with a vertebral compression fracture often suffer from Osteoporosis, as the deficit in bone density can lead to a higher risk of fracturing. Spinal Tumors may also contribute to weakness in the vertebrae.

Vertebroplasty: During a vertebroplasty, orthopedic spinal specialists use fluoroscopy to locate the exact location of the compression fracture before injecting a special medical cement through a needle into the cracks of the fracture. 

Kyphoplasty: If the vertebrae has collapsed too far to safely perform a vertebroplasty, the surgeon will first insert a medical balloon into the collapsed vertebrae through a large, hollow needle. The surgeon will inflate the balloon to re-shape the vertebrae before injecting the cement to hold the bone in a healthy shape.