Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

The vertebrae are a series of bones that make up the spine. When one fractures , it can put pressure on surrounding nerves. This can cause intense pain and disability. The bones may be repaired with these procedures.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site or the needle insertion site
    • Severe back or rib pain
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • New numbness, tingling, or weakness

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    The vertebrae are a series of bones that make up the spine. When one
    fractures
    ,
    it can put pressure on surrounding nerves. This can cause intense pain and disability. The bones may be repaired with these procedures.

    • In vertebroplasty, an acrylic cement is injected into a fractured and collapsed vertebra (spinal bone). The cement strengthens the bone and decreases pain from the fracture.
    • In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to create a cavity to inject the cement into. This procedure is designed to relieve pain. It can also improve spinal deformities from the fractures.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Both procedures are used to decrease pain from osteoporotic or pathologic vertebral compression fractures.

    Kyphoplasty also restores the height of the bone. This can decrease the spinal deformity caused by the fracture.

    Other treatment for vertebral fracture may include nonsurgical treatments, such as bed rest, bracing, and pain medicines.

    Vertebral Fracture
    factsheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

    • Leakage of the cement into the spinal canal or into adjacent veins
    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • Increased back pain
    • Fracture of adjacent vertebra or ribs
    • Numbness, tingling
    • Paralysis

    Your doctor may feel that the risks of these procedures are too great if you have:

    • Vertebral fractures that extend into the spinal canal area
    • Radiculopathy—irritation of a nerve root in the area of the fracture that often causes areas of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Unusually soft or porous bones


    If you have vertebral fracture due to
    osteoporosis
    , vertebroplasty may not be as effective.

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity