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Vertebroplasty for Spinal Fracture Treatment

Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure used to provide pain relief for patients suffering from spinal fracture. The procedure uses X-ray imaging to guide a needle into the fractured vertebra. Acrylic bone cement is then injected in an effort to stabilize the fracture with an internal cement cast. It’s typically performed by an interventional radiologist or spine surgeon.

The procedure can take up to 2 hours, depending on the number of fractures that are treated. Patients are typically given local anesthesia and/or light sedation during the procedure.

How Does Vertebroplasty Differ from Balloon Kyphoplasty?

While the procedures are similar, and both may result in pain relief, there are distinct differences:

  • Vertebroplasty uses bone cement to stabilize the vertebra in its current state
  • Balloon kyphoplasty aims to restore vertebral height and correct the vertebral body angular deformity as well as stabilize vertebra following the vertebral body height restoration

Balloon kyphoplasty uses orthopedic balloons to create a cavity in the fractured vertebra for the bone cement. In addition to restoring vertebral height, this cavity allows for a more controlled injection of bone cement, and significantly reduces the injection pressure being placed on the vertebra during the procedure.1

Important Safety Information

The complication rate with KYPHON® Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to be low.  There are risks associated with the procedure (for example, cement leakage), including serious complications, and though rare, some of which may be fatal.  This procedure is not for everyone.  A prescription is required.  Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, contraindications, benefits, and risks.  Only you and your physician can determine whether this procedure is right for you.

Vertebroplasty for Spinal Fracture Treatment

References:

  • WeiBkopf, M., et al., Intravertebral pressure during vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty: an in vitro study. Spine 2008;33(2):178-182.
  • Quantitative analysis of perioperative complication rates in balloon kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty (meta-analysis). Medtronic Spine LLC; 2006 December 11, 2006. [95000047]