Pain Relief with Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty for Spinal Fractures

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty in Colorado


Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are two procedures used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). Both of these procedures involve repairing the fracture and restoring bone height. Depending on the patient, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are often done as outpatient procedures. However, some people must stay overnight for observation.

What causes VCFs?

A vertebral compression fracture is caused by thinning bones, such as osteoporosis. VCFs also occur spontaneously, related to spinal tumors. Falls and injuries are other causes of VCF. A 15% loss of body height constitutes a VCF, and it affects 26% of women age 50 years and older.

Who is a candidate for kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty?

Kyphoplaty and vertebroplasty are used to treat people with painful, progressive back pain, which is caused by pathologic or osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. Candidates for these procedures cannot move normally due to the fracture(s). To be considered for these procedures, the patient’s pain must be due to the fracture and not other problems.

What can I expect before the kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty procedure?

Both kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures, which are mostly done under general anesthesia. Depending on the doctor, and the patient’s needs, the patient is often discharged home the same day. Before your appointment, the doctor may order some additional imaging scans, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT scan), and x-rays. This is done to assess the severity of your condition.

Are kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty painful?

Expect some soreness at the incision site and over the fractured vertebra. This will last for 2-3 days. You can use ice packs to ease the pain associated with vertebral fracture. These procedures improve mobility and provide pain relief usually within 48 hours.

What is the difference between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty involves the injection of bone cement into the cancellous bone of the vertebra body. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is often used for this procedure. With kyphoplasty, a balloon tamp needle is inserted into the vertebral body and then inflated. In addition, kyphoplasty involves re-establishing the bone height before the cement is injected. The goals are to reduce kyphosis and pain.

Does vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty work?

In a study involving comparison of 4,456 vertebroplasty procedures to 1,624 kyphoplasty procedures, researchers found that the efficacy rates were 87% and 92% respectively. When kyphotic angle was measured, kyphoplasty worked better than vertebroplasty, 34% compared to 39%.

Colorado Clinic offers top interventional pain management procedures for pain relief, including kyphoplasty procedures for vertebral compression fractures. Call us, most insurance accepted!


La Maida GA, Sala F, Callea G, et al. (2011). Efficacy of Unipedicular Baloon Kyphoplasty for Treatment of Multiple Myeloma Vertebral Lesions. Asian Spine Journal, 5(3), 162-168.

McCall T, Cole, C, & Dailey A (2008). Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: a comparative review of efficacy and adverse events. Curr Rev Musculoskel Med, 1(1), 17-23.