What are the subtle differences between Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty?

People who are growing old may take any normal back pain as a sign of old age. However, it is not always so. You may not know but a certain vertebral disorder, namely the vertebral compression fraction is really common in aged people. Osteoporosis is the most general cause of such cases and the very first symptoms are generally of a chronic back pain. So, what to do if such a condition arises?

As you know, fractures are hard to treat in the old age and when it is in the vertebral column, it may even be impossible to guarantee a complete recovery. No, not anymore. Now you can treat your fractured vertebral column with the help of advanced treatments like Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. However, though the two methods aim toward achieving the same goal, they differ in terms of mechanism and effectiveness.

Vertebroplasty: What it is and how is it beneficial

 Vertebroplasty is the most general treatment offered to the patients suffering from vertebral compression fractures. In this, cement is injected directly into the fractured bone and it solidifies, thus filling up the pore and curing the fracture. The most common benefits of Vertebroplasty are its cost effectiveness and simplicity to perform. It reduces pain to a great degree. The cement hardens within 30 minutes and after that, you will gradually feel better and return to your previous active condition after a few days. However it also has its own set of limitations. Like chances of leakage and infection is more than in Kyphoplasty. Now, lets see what Kyphoplasty does and why is it considered better than its brother treatment i.e. Vertebroplasty.

Kyphoplasty: What is it and how is it a better option for vertebral compression failure patients

 While Vertebroplasty is a relatively simpler method where the cement is directly injected into the fractured bone, Kyphoplasty involves a series of complex steps as follows:


  • First of all, the doctor sedates the patient while he or she lies down on his/her stomach. Either they are completely asleep or is given a local anesthesia.
  • A small incision is made at the back of the patient’s body and a hollow tube is inserted.
  • Guided by fluoroscopic light, the tube is placed in the right position, that is inside the vertebrae, at the point of fracture.
  • Then the doctor inserts a balloon like thing in the fractured area with the help of this tube.
  • The balloon is inflated causing the bones to push back, elevating the fracture, thus creating a space inside.
  • This space is then filled with a cementing substance and allowed to solidify.
  • Once the cement hardens and the cavity is filled, the balloon deflates, putting the pieces together and bringing about stabilization.


The most important advantage of Kyphoplasty over Vertebroplasty is that it helps the vertebral column to attain the previous height. This is not possible with Vertebroplasty which stabilizes the structure from outside and not from within.


So, if you think you are having a back pain that does not feel like just a back pain anymore, know that its time to visit the pain management doctors to get yourself checked and the real problem diagnosed.