A Kyphoplasty is a procedure to treat osteoporotic compression fractures. There is a similar procedure called a Vertebroplasty. Both procedures accomplish similar results with similar indications. The Kyphoplasty is, in our opinion, a better procedure.
It is a technique where, under general anesthesia, two needles are inserted into the fractured vertebral body. A balloon is inflated inside the fracture and then the balloon is deflated. This creates a empty space in the vertebral body. After this is done, passive injection of methylmethacrylate is injected into the vertebral body which fills up the empty cavity and the spaces inside the vertebral body. The methylmethacrylate hardens in a few minutes inside the compressed vertebral body.
This procedure strengthens the vertebral body against further compression fractures which helps to reduce the pain and improving the height of the vertebral body. We feel this is an excellent procedure for treating osteoporotic compression fractures. Without such a procedure, further compression of the vertebral body can occur which could cause compression of the nerves and spinal cord in the spine or develop a progressive kyphotic deformity (angulation of the spine) at the level of the fracture. As a result of a change in the dynamics of the weight distribution on the spine, the spine is then a set up for additional compression fractures.