Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Treatment by Dr. Vivek Loomba


Back pains are devastating and can affect your everyday life. If you’re looking for a solution to your spinal discomfort, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty may offer the relief you need. These procedures are designed to alleviate pain caused by vertebral compression fractures. The fractures cause collapse or compression of vertebrae that leads to shortening and curving of the spine.  

What is a Vertebroplasty/Kyphoplasty?

A vertebroplasty is a way of treating a compression fracture of the spine which are small break in the bone that makes up the front part of your vertebral column. Thinning of bones is the main cause of vertebral compression fractures. Lifting heavy weights, sneezing, or coughing can also cause these fractures to happen. Vertebral compression usually causes back pain, reduced physical activity, depression, decreased lung capacity, and trouble sleeping.  

A Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty both are used to treat spinal fractures. In Vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected through a hollow needle into the fractured bone. 

In Kyphoplasty, A small incision is made in the back and a needle is inserted into the fractured vertebrae. The surgeon then injects bone cement into the vertebra to stabilize it.  In this procedure, a balloon is injected to expand the vertebrae before filling them with bone cement. It allows you to stand straight with a reduction in pain.

These procedures are done as an outpatient procedure and usually takes less than an hour. Kyphoplasty has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain relief and restoring body functions in patients with a spinal fracture.

Benefits of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

The potential benefits of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty in pain management are –

  • It helps to restore some of the height that may have been lost due to the fracture.
  • Both procedures can provide significant pain relief for patients suffering from spinal fractures. 
  • Vertebroplasty helps to stabilize the fracture, which can help to prevent further damage to the spine. 
  • Kyphoplasty can also help to improve the alignment of the spine by restoring some of the lost height in the vertebrae.

Risks and Complications of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

There are several potential risks and complications associated with Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, which include –

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve injury
  • Punctured lung
  • Increased pain
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis

While the majority of patients who undergo these procedures experience significant spinal fracture pain relief. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications that can occur but these risks are typically rare and minor among patients.

Before the Procedure

Your healthcare provider will look upon certain medical conditions and will also provide you with a precautionary guide for a few days to follow-

  • A typical physical exam
  • Get your spine x-rayed
  • Discussion on recent illness
  • Consult your physician on allergies
  • Undertaking of medications 
  • Order blood tests
  • Stop taking Aspirin, non-steroidal or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Stop eating or drinking 3 hours before the procedure.

How is the Procedure performed?

During the procedure, you’ll lie on your stomach. A hollow needle will be inserted through your skin into the vertebrae. A type of x-ray called fluoroscopy is used for trocar guidance to determine the exact location of needle placement. Once the trocar is in place either vertebroplasty (cement) or kyphoplasty (inflatable balloon-like device) is performed into the vertebrae. During Kypoplasy, a balloon is inflated to fill up the space with bone cement.

After the procedure

You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Plan to rest for the rest of the day after the procedure. You may have some pain and bruising at the site of the injection but it will subdue within two to three days after the procedure. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for yourself at home such as taking showers instead of baths, keeping the bandage on for a few days, and avoiding physical stress as much as possible.

Recovery after the procedure

Recovery after either Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty is typically quite short. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities within a day or two. There may be some soreness in the treated area, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, a brief hospital stay may be necessary for observation and pain management. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to do homecare after the procedure for quick and effective recovery.


Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are two effective treatments for pain relief from vertebral compression fractures. Patients suffering from these types of fractures can find significant relief by undergoing one of these procedures, which provide them with more mobility to lead a better quality of life. However, It is important to understand that there are risks associated with each procedure and make sure to consult with your doctor before making a decision. With appropriate information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty is right for you.