Vertebroplasty is a technique in which bone cement is injected into the
vertebral areas of the back. The procedure is performed to treat painful
compression fractures of the spine that have not responded to simpler
methods, such as bed rest, wearing braces or taking medication. Fractures
typically are caused by osteoporosis, but occasionally tumors from breast
cancer, hemangiomas and other types of cancer can be treated to reduce
the pain. Vertebroplasty can sometimes be used to treat traumatic fractures
of the vertebral bodies, but the procedure is not used to treat ruptured
discs or other types of degenerative spine disease.
MR shows an acute fracture of L1 resulting in minimal loss of height. Note the healed, chronic L2 fracture.
Final AP and lateral x-rays show evenly distributed cement filling the fractured L1 body. The healed L2 fracture was not treated.
Kyphoplasty is procedure for treating painful compression fractures. With
kyphoplasty, a needle is inserted into a vertebral body and under careful
X-ray guidance small balloons are directed into the bone. The balloons are
then inflated in small increments until certain endpoints are reached. The
balloons are then deflated and removed. The acrylic bone cement is then
placed into the spaces created by the balloons. With kyphoplasty, patients
are more often treated under general anesthesia and may stay overnight
in the hospital.
MR shows an acute fracture of T12 with superior end plate compression.
AP and lateral X-rays show the compressed T12 body with kyphosis.
Intra-operative radiographs show inflated balloons with endplate reduction.
Final X-rays show cement filling the balloon cavities.