Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures for vertebral compression fractures, which are fractures in vertebra, the small bones that make up the spinal column.

When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain. These compression fractures, which may involve the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine, are a common symptom and result of osteoporosis.

In vertebroplasty, physicians use image guidance to inject a special cement mixture through a hollow needle into the fractured bone. In kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted through the needle into the fractured bone to restore the height and shape of the vertebra. Then the balloon is removed and the cement mixture is injected into the cavity created by the balloon.

For more information on vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty visit radiologyinfo.org.