Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to relieve the pain from a vertebral fracture, especially if it does not improve over a number of weeks with pain medication and treatment with a brace. Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures involve placing cement into the fractured vertebra through small incisions in the skin under x-ray guidance.

Kyphoplasty can also be very helpful when there is severe collapse of the broken vertebra or wedging. By correcting the wedging, kyphoplasty may help restore the spine to a more normal alignment and prevent severe kyphotic (hunchback) deformity to the spine. In someone who has had multiple fractures with previous wedging, kyphoplasty can prevent further worsening of the deformity.

Vertebroplasty

  • A bone cement is injected under pressure directly into the fractured vertebra.
  • Once in position, the cement hardens in about 10 minutes, congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra and providing immediate stability.

Kyphoplasty

  • A balloon catheter is guided into the vertebra and inflated with a liquid under pressure.
  • As the balloon inflates, it can restore the collapse in the vertebra and correct abnormal wedging of the broken vertebra.
  • Once the balloon is maximally inflated, it is deflated and removed, and the large cavity created is filled with bone cement.
  • The cement then hardens in place, maintaining any correction of collapse and wedging.

Location Information

To find a radiology specialist, please call 410-350-3303.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

Radiology Specialists