Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery used to treat spinal compression fractures, which occur primarily in spinal vertebrae weakened by osteoporosis. Compression fractures commonly occur in the thoracic region of the spine, but may also concur in the lumbar spine. The goals of kyphoplasty include the following:

  • Reduce pain from compression fractures
  • Stabilize the vertebra
  • Restore the vertebra to its normal height
  • Improve mobility in the patient

During the procedure, the patient lies face down on the operating table, while the surgeon makes a small, half-inch incision over the target area. Using X-ray guidance, a narrow tube is inserted into one side of the fractured vertebra. The balloon tamp is then inflated to create an open cavity inside the bone and to restore height to the collapsed vertebra. Once the balloon is deflated and removed, there is a new bone cavity in the vertebra. A special cement compound – called PMMA – is injected into the cavity. The cement hardens quickly and creates an internal case inside the fractured vertebra. The procedure is performed relatively quickly and most patients return home the same day.


Indications for kyphoplasty include vertebral compression fractures due to:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Myeloma
  • Metastasis
  • Vertebral angioma with severe pain and no neurological symptoms

Additionally, kyphoplasty may be used to reduce kyphotic deformity due to secondary posture kyphosis.