There are two minimally-invasive surgical procedures that are used to treat compression fractures: Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. During a vertebroplasty, the doctor injects specially designed bone cement through a minimally invasive technique. The cement is placed directly into the fractured vertebra through a small profile needle, to prevent it from collapsing any further and eliminate the motion within the bone due to fracture. This stops the severe pain and strengthens or casts the fractured bone.
During a kyphoplasty, the procedure is essentially the same as vertebroplasty with the only difference being the placement of a balloon inside the fractured bone prior to cement injection. When the balloon is inflated, it creates a void or cavity within the vertebrae to aid in cement placement to fill the void and hold the fracture in place.
Both Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty procedures normally take no more than 1 hour. Both procedures are considered minimally invasive and typically, patients will experience markedly reduced pain immediately following the procedure. These procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis, but some patients may require a short hospital stay.