Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to treat the pain associated with compression fractures of the vertebrae, or bones of the spine. These fractures are typically caused by osteoporosis, spinal tumors or trauma.

Baptist Health is nationally recognized for excellence in minimally invasive spine procedures. We offer a full spectrum of orthopedic and neurosurgical care and the latest approaches to spine surgery. Best of all, you’ll appreciate convenient appointment times, locations near you and a personalized focus to meet your needs before, during and after your procedure.

What are Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty?

Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty procedures are used to stabilize a fractured vertebra and reduce pain. The vertebra is stabilized with a special acrylic bone cement, which is injected into the fractured bone. The difference between the two procedures is that in vertebroplasty, the cement is injected into the vertebra under high pressure, and in kyphoplasty, a small balloon is first inflated at the vertebra to open the space around the fracture for the cement, which can then be injected into the cavity with little pressure. 

What Can Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty Accomplish?

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty procedures are often recommended to treat compression fractures of the vertebra after other treatments like bed rest, pain medication or a back brace do not relieve pain. Both are minimally invasive procedures, which often eliminate the need for a hospital stay and result in faster healing compared to surgery. The procedures enhance comfort and mobility, including:

  • Significantly relieving back pain
  • Restoring alignment of the spine
  • Allowing for pain-free return to normal activity

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures and typically performed as out-patient procedures.

Once you are admitted for your vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, you may be connected to monitors that will track your heart rate, blood pressure and pulse during the procedure. A member of the anesthesia team will meet with you to explain the type of anesthesia that will be used to make you comfortable during the procedure. The length of the procedure will depend upon whether you have a kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty and the number of vertebrae treated. Typically, the procedure will last about an hour.

You will be positioned face down and a tiny incision will be made in your back near the fractured vertebra. A hollow needle will be inserted through the spinal muscles and carefully positioned within the fractured vertebra. The needle is guided by special X-ray technology called fluoroscopy.


A special cement is flowed through the needle into the vertebra. This special cement becomes harder than bone within about 20 minutes, creating an internal cast behind or around the vertebra. The needle is removed and an X-ray may be taken to check how the cement has distributed inside the vertebra. The small incision will need no stiches.


During kyphoplasty, before the cement is injected, a small balloon is passed through the hollow needle. The balloon is inflated inside the vertebra to create space for the cement. Once the balloon is deflated and removed, the cement is injected. The procedure is completed in the same way as a vertebroplasty.


You will spend some time in the recovery room after the procedure, then will be discharged home.

Estimated Recovery Timeline

Once you go home, you may feel immediate pain relief in your back. There may be some soreness in the area where the needle was injected. This pain should diminish over a few days.

Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty Possible Risks

Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are safe procedures, but like all procedures, they do have possible risks. These include:

  • Infection
  • Numbness or tingling in the area of the injection

Next Steps with MyChart

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