, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 17-23,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 12 Jan 2008

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: a comparative review of efficacy and adverse events


Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have become common surgical techniques for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty involves the percutaneous injection of bone cement into the cancellous bone of a vertebral body with the goals of pain alleviation and preventing further loss of vertebral body height. Kyphoplasty utilizes an inflatable balloon to create a cavity for the cement with the additional potential goals of restoring height and reducing kyphosis. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are effective treatment options for the reduction of pain associated with vertebral body compression fractures. Biomechanical studies demonstrate that kyphoplasty is initially superior for increasing vertebral body height and reducing kyphosis, but these gains are lost with repetitive loading. Complications secondary to extravasation of cement include compression of neural elements and venous embolism. These complications are rare but more common with vertebroplasty. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are both safe and effective procedures for the treatment of vertebral body compression fractures.