Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are similar type of treatments for compression fractures of the lumbar and thoracic spine column. Compression fractures occur when the bone is weakened because of loss of calcium (osteoporosis) or because of trauma (for example, after a hard landing while snowboarding). Compression fractures are like any other broken bone in that they can hurt. By placing a cement like material into the vertebral body, we can stabilize the broken bone and take away the pain.
Both Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty can be done via a special needle placement through the skin in the back. The cement can be injected into the vertebral body directly after the needle placement (Vertebroplasty) or after augmentation of the fractured bone via a balloon or another type of flexible device (Kyphoplasty). These are both outpatient procedures performed at a surgery center or hospital, where patient’s pain is generally alleviated shortly after the procedure is done.