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Kyphoplasty for Compression Fractures


Compression fracture of vertebra is the collapse of vertebral body of spine. These compression fractures of thoracolumbar spine are the most common in elderly and occur in approximately 25% of all postmenopausal women during their lifetime in United States. [1] Approximately 1.5 million compression fractures of vertebra occur annually in general US population. [2] The most common cause of vertebral compression fracture is osteoporosis but it can also be caused by trauma, infection, and tumor of spine.

Vertebral compression fracture can lead to acute or chronic back pain. Depending on the intensity of your pain, your physician can recommend vertebral kyphoplasty which is a minimally invasive procedure and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. In this procedure, your surgeon will make two small incision in your back through which two specialized tubes are inserted directly into fractured vertebral body. Though each tube, a balloon is inserted on each side and then they are inflated to expand the collapsed vertebral body and to re-establish its original height. This expansion will create an empty space within the vertebral body. Once the desired height is achieved, the balloons are deflated and removed from the body. Subsequently your surgeon will inject highly viscous bone cement which is made of methylmethacrylate. This bony cement will act as an adhesive to stabilize the vertebral body and to prevent the vertebral body from collapse. (Fig. 1)

Kyphoplasty of vertebral compression fracture

Fig. 1. Kyphoplasty of vertebral compression fracture


  1. Greenberg M. 6th ed. New York: Thieme Publishing Group; 2005. Handbook of Neurosurgery
  2. Percutaneous vertebroplasty for pain relief and spinal stabilization. Barr JD, Barr MS, Lemley TJ, McCann RM Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2000 Apr 15; 25(8):923-8.

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