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Kyphoplasty (Vertebral Augmentation)

Kyphoplasty, also called vertebral augmentation, is a procedure designed to relieve back pain caused by mid- or low-back compression fractures that have not healed properly. These types of fractures are typically the result of severe bone weakening from osteoporosis due to age or long-term steroid use or vertebrae weakened by cancer.

With kyphoplasty, bone cement is injected into a damaged vertebra that has been expanded using a balloon or other device to repair the normal height of the vertebra. The cement strengthens and stabilizes the vertebra that has been damaged.

What to Expect

  • We will contact you prior to your appointment to review current medications, your medical history, and potential risks. We will also answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
  • On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early to check in.
  • The use of sedation during your procedure is at the radiologist’s discretion. If sedation is prescribed, you’ll receive detailed instructions so you know what to expect.
  • If sedated, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you after the procedure due to the effects of the medications.
  • Although complications are rare, we will review possible side effects and risks with you prior to your exam so you can ask questions and decide if this exam is right for you.
  • When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
  • After you are admitted you may begin an assessment and, if necessary, undergo some laboratory tests to ensure proper blood clotting.
  • Kyphoplasty is generally performed using a local anesthetic (numbing medication) and heavy sedation. A radiologist with advanced training and experience in performing spine injections will monitor you throughout the procedure.
  • You will lie on your stomach on a cushioned table and the skin in the targeted area will be cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic.
  • Using X-ray guidance, our radiologist will insert a thin needle and inject contrast solution. The contrast solution is designed to highlight your anatomy to ensure precise targeting of the vertebra thought to be causing your pain.
  • The radiologist will insert a specialized needle through the skin into the damaged vertebra and inflate a balloon to restore the bone to its original shape.
  • Once the desired result is achieved, the balloon will be deflated and the cavity that has been created within the bone will be filled with a bone cement that has similar consistency to toothpaste.
  • The material will begin to harden within 20 minutes, stabilizing the fractured vertebra.
  • It is possible to treat more than one fractured vertebra at a time, if necessary.
  • Throughout the procedure, a radiologist and nurse will closely monitor your condition and comfort level.
  • After the procedure, you will be asked to stay at the center for a period of time depending on the number of fractures that are treated.
  • When your procedure is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
  • We will provide you with guidelines for activity and physician rehabilitation.
  • Most patients experience marked pain relief soon after the procedure.

Find Kyphoplasty (Vertebral Augmentation) services near you.

Find Kyphoplasty (Vertebral Augmentation) services near you.