What Is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, image-guided therapy used to treat spinal fractures, which cause pain and sometimes disability. Compression fractures are a common symptom of osteoporosis and sometimes caused by trauma or cancer.

Under image guidance, one of our interventional radiologists uses a balloon to restore the original size and shape of a collapsed vertebra, then injects a medical cement into the bone to stabilize it. Kyphoplasty can reduce or eliminate pain, as well as prevent further damage. Candidates for kyphoplasty include people with chronic back pain after conventional treatments such as bed rest and pain medication have not worked.

How to Prepare for Kyphoplasty

  • Consultation - Anyone undergoing kyphoplasty must be evaluated by our staff prior to the surgery. Sometimes, a phone call works as your consultation, but typically you will be seen in person.
  • Images - Please bring any imaging studies not performed at Mass General Imaging to your consultation appointment, including plain radiographs and MRI images.

What to Expect After Kyphoplasty

During kyphoplasty, we often treat patients under anesthesia, so we may ask you to stay overnight in the hospital. 

You may experience dull aching at the needle puncture site during the first 24 hours following the procedure. You should call us if you develop severe or increasing chest or back pain, fever or neurological symptoms.

We call patients at home about 48 hours after kyphoplasty and again in seven days. You will receive follow-up care from your referring or primary care physicians.