Similar to vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty may be used on patients with compression fractures in the spine. Kyphoplasty offers the potential to restore bone height in the vertebra and reverse deformity of the spine. Mayo Clinic offers both treatments, allowing specialists to choose the correct treatment for each patient.
As in vertebroplasty, a patient undergoing kyphoplasty lies face down. The physician advances a thin tube into the fractured vertebra from an incision in the back. Through the tube, the physician drills a small hole through the hard, outer part of the bone and into its softer center. This provides a pathway for the physician to insert a special balloon into the interior of the vertebra, which is then inflated. This pushes apart the caps, or end plates, of the fractured vertebra, and restores the vertebra to its original shape as much as possible. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that the physician fills with bone cement.
Either local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used in these procedures.
Kyphoplasty is most successful in restoring bone height and correcting deformity if done on relatively recent compression fractures — those caught within two to three months. The physician will decide which treatment is appropriate.