What is Kyphoplasty?

A kyphoplasty procedure is usually done to treat any vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column. The vertebrae are the bones that make up your spine, and when someone has a condition like osteoporosis, the stress may reduce the height of one of the bones by 15 to 20 percent. Most fractures occur along the spine’s thoracic (the upper and middle area of your back) region. When this fracturing occurs, many patients experience severe back pain and need to see a doctor immediately. Depending on the nature of the symptoms, the doctor may recommend kyphoplasty.

The Procedure

Like many other modern spine surgeries, kyphoplasty is a specialized type of minimally invasive spine surgery. The surgeon makes a small incision near the affected area and then places a narrow tube, forming a path through the back towards the fractured vertebra. X-Ray imaging and fluoroscopic lighting allows the doctor to put a specialized balloon through the surgical tube, gently inflating it once it reaches the affected bone. The inflation helps elevate the fractures and returns the structure to its previous position. The doctor then removes the balloon and keeps the bone at the inflated position by filling in a unique material called polymethylmethacrylate. Like concrete, this material hardens fast to help the bone stabilize.


Kyphoplasty tends to takes around one hour for every vertebra operated. Unlike most other minimally invasive procedures, patients usually have to stay in the hospital for the following day so the clinic can observe the recovery. Most people feel pain relief and can return to their daily routine soon after the surgery. However, they need to avoid intense actions like heavy lifting or running for at least six weeks. Since kyphoplasty treats symptoms of osteoporosis but not osteoporosis itself, patients should consult with a doctor on what they can do to address the cause to prevent further vertebral fractures.

If you believe you may be feeling intense back pain due to osteoporosis, a vertebral fracture, or some other spinal condition, contact us at the Spine Institute in New Jersey. Doctor Marc Cohen is a nationally recognized expert in minimally invasive micro spine surgery and can help alleviate your pain.