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Side view of compressed vertebra and disks. Needle goes through back of vertebra into vertebral body.

Kyphoplasty is a procedure that can help relieve the pain of vertebral compression fracture (a collapse of bone in your spine most commonly caused by osteoporosis). It does this by strengthening your spine (vertebrae) with special cement. The procedure usually takes 30-45 minutes.

Preparing for the Procedure

Tell your health care provider about all medications you take. This includes over-the-counter medications, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements.

  • Ask your health care provider if there are medications you must stop taking before the procedure.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the procedure.

  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home.

During the Procedure

Side view of compressed vertebra and disks. Needle goes through back of vertebra into vertebral body and injects cement in open space left by balloon.

Your health care provider will give you anesthesia. This is medication to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure. During kyphoplasty:

  • Your surgeon makes one or more tiny incisions in your back.

  • Using video X-ray images as a guide, your surgeon inserts a hollow tube through the incision into the collapsed vertebra.

  • A small balloon is passed through the tube into the vertebra, where it is inflated to open a space.

  • The balloon is then removed and the empty space is filled with special cement for bones.

Risks and Complications

Kyphoplasty is considered safe. If complications do occur, they may include the following:

  • Nerve damage

  • Cement leakage

  • Heart or lung problems

  • New or unrelieved back pain

  • Infection

After the Procedure

You will be sent to a recovery room after the procedure. You may go home later the same day. Or, you may stay the night in a hospital room. Once you’re ready to go home, your health care provider will tell you how to care for yourself.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher

  • New pain, weakness, or numbness in your legs

  • New or unrelieved back pain