Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty | Texas Spine Center

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are both minimally invasive surgical procedures that treat osteoporotic fractures.

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting more than 28 million Americans. The disease gradually weakens bones and causes them to become brittle, sometimes to the point of breaking. These types of fractures and small tumour related fractures are also candidates for Kyphoplasty surgery. 

Severe osteoporosis can cause compression fractures in the spine, resulting in the collapse of the spine, as well as severe pain, spine deformity and loss of height. Vertebral compression fractures (VCF) are often a result of these collapsed vertebrae due to osteoporosis or other degenerative diseases. If left untreated, this condition can cause other serious health problems, including chronic or severe pain, limited function and reduced mobility, decreased lung capacity and/or difficulty sleeping.

How Does a Kyphoplasty Procedure Work?

Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure

If Dr. Siddiqi determines that you are a candidate for kyphoplasty, he will perform the procedure under either local or general anesthesia. He will need to make two small incisions. First, he will insert a special balloon called the KyphX Inflatable Bone Tamp, and gently inflate it inside the fractured vertebrae. The balloon's job is to restore height to the bone to reduce deformity in the spine.

The spaces created by the balloons are then filled with orthopedic cement called polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA, which binds the fracture. As the cement hardens, height is restored, providing strength and stability to the vertebra and relieving pain.

Most patients can return to their regular activities after this procedure. Dr. Siddiqi will perform a diagnostic evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for kyphoplasty, as well as discuss all associated risks and benefits.

How Does a Vertebroplasty Procedure Work?

Vertebroplasty also is a procedure used to relieve the pain of compression fractures. Vertebroplasty literally means "fixing the vertebral body." It differs from kyphoplasty in that it does not involve the use of the special balloon that is inflated inside the fractured vertebrae.

If Dr. Siddiqi determines you are a candidate for vertebroplasty, then he will discuss this procedure with you further. It involves local or general anaesthesia and a special bone needle may be passed slowly through the soft tissues of the back. Image guided X-ray capabilities allow for him to see the needle's position at all times.

Once the needle is correctly positioned, a small amount of orthopedic cement called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is pushed through the needle into the vertebral body. The cement contains an antibiotic to help reduce the risk of infection. The cement hardens rapidly and stabilizes the fractured bone, in most cases providing immediate pain relief. Within a few hours after the procedure, patients can move around – many do not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

Dr. Siddiqi will discuss with you all risks and benefits associated with vertebroplasty during your office visit and consultation.

Comparison of Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty

Kyphoplasty involves both fixation and some vertebral height restoration of the compression fracture. Vertebroplasty allows fixation of the compression fracture. Depending on your clinical condition and radiographic findings, Dr. Siddiqi can discuss with you which of these procedures may help alleviate your back pain.