What is it?


A compression fracture of the spine can cause sudden debilitating pain. It can occur from osteoporosis, trauma, motor vehicle accidents, and cancer. If your exam reveals a compression fracture, your doctor will discuss treatment options, including kyphoplasty. Your questions will be answered so you can make an informed choice about which treatment will be best.

What is it?

Kyphoplasty is an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure used to treat spinal compression fractures. It is performed using image guidance and a large needle that allows introduction of bone cement into the vertebrae to restore height and stabilize the fracture, thereby reducing or eliminating pain.


This minimally-invasive procedure repairs a vertebral compression fracture. It helps restore the spine's natural shape. Some patients experience rapid pain relief after the procedure.

During Procedure

  • Medicine will be delivered through an IV to either relax you, relieve your pain or put you to sleep.
  • With X-ray guidance, your doctor will insert a needle through your skin and back muscles into the bone, then inflate a balloon to help the vertebra regain its normal shape.
  • Your doctor will inject the cement into the fractured vertebrae while checking X-rays to ensure proper placement.
  • Your doctor will remove the needle with no stitches needed.

After Procedure

You should be able to get up and walk around within an hour of kyphoplasty. You might feel a little tender or sore, but any discomfort should subside quickly. Your doctor might prescribe bone-strengthening supplements or medications to help restore your bones and reduce your risk of future injuries. At home, patients can return to their normal daily activities, but should take things easy the day after kyphoplasty. Heavy lifting is typically avoided for at least 6 weeks.

Your doctor also schedules a follow-up appointment so they can check that your procedure was successful. They will provide instructions for physical therapy and returning to your regular activities safely.

What are the complications?

A small percentage of patients may experience: allergic reaction and biological complications such as increased pain. Doctor expertise, sterile operating conditions and image guidance keep complications to a minimum.

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