What is Kyphoplasty

In layman’s terms kypho is a surgical procedure where bones in the spine are filled in order to retain their shape and to relieve the pain brought about by bone fracture. Usually, bone fracture is caused by osteoporosis or lack of calcium due to old age. Those researching about what is kyphoplasty in medical terms will find it described as a slightly invasive operation that is used to treat a vertebral compression fracture.

How Kyphoplasty is Done?

What is kyphoplasty going to entail is an operating room procedure done on an out-patient basis. The duration in which the procedure is done is not as long as other surgical operations. In most surgeries, patients have to spend hours on the operating table. They are also usually confined in the hospital for a number of days. In kyphoplasty, the procedure is done in only a few minutes. Most of the patients are allowed to go home on the day the procedure was done.

The patient is positioned lying face down on the operating table. The surgeon then makes a half an inch cut on the portion where the fracture is. With the use of an x-ray, a small tube is inserted through the pedicle towards the fractured vertebra. Then, a balloon tamp is inserted by use of the tube into the area that is affected. The balloon is then inflated to make an opening inside the bone to put back the collapsed vertebra to its normal height. After the cavity is created, the balloon is deflated and removed. In the cavity, a kind of bone cement called PMMA is injected in order to fill the opening. When it hardens, the paste serves as a cast inside the broken vertebra.

The same procedure in what is kyphoplasty is repeated on the other side of the vertebral body to create a uniform height. This also supports the correction of the deformity. In other cases, a net or a ball is used to make a cavity inside the broken vertebra. The surgeon will then close the incision and the patient is made to stay on the same lying position for about five minutes. This is to make sure that the cement has hardened. After which, the patient is allowed to go home and rest.

Which Part of the Spine is Treated?

Reading about what is kyphoplasty, you will discover that it treats spinal compression fracture mainly caused by osteoporosis. The areas affected are usually the thoracic area of the spine that includes T1 until T12 vertebrae. It may also occur at the lumbar spine specifically at the L1 to L5. This is often the reason why many people suffer back pains. Women who have experienced pregnancy are prone to suffer osteoporosis because of lack of calcium.

Why is It Effective?

Further studies in what is kyphoplasty and its uses showed that it is effective in reducing pain from bone fractures. It also works in stabilizing the vertebra and restoring the vertebra back to its regular height. It has also been found to be safe and less burdensome.


Knowing what is kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty allows you or your elderly loved one to prevent the symptoms of osteoporosis and lack of calcium from affecting your life. It restores the broken bones in the spine with the use of some kind of cement. It does not only reduce back pain, it also restores the patient’s posture.