Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are two of the most common approaches in vertebral augmentation. These are helpful in preventing progressive spinal deformity, treating pain and other symptoms, and stabilizing a vertebral fracture.

The two treatments are categorized as minimally invasive procedures. They are generally designed to treat vertebral compression fractures or VCF which affect the spine. They can treat painful vertebral fractures caused by injury, osteoporosis and others. These fractures must not be left untreated because it can develop into a spinal deformity or a humped spine. Basically, the procedures restore the vertebra height and treat the fractured bone with less risk and faster recovery.

But what is the difference between kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty?


This is a vertebral augmentation procedure. It is designed to stabilize compression fractures that occur in the spine. The procedure involves the injection of bone cement into the vertebrae, the ones that have been injured, cracked or broken. This cement will harden and stabilize the fractures and will then support the spine. This is commonly used for people with osteoporosis too. Aside from stabilizing and supporting the back, this outpatient procedure also reduces the pain and other symptoms, allowing the patient to regain normal movements and activities.

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Aside from vertebroplasty, another common vertebral augmentation procedure is kyphoplasty. In this procedure, a surgical instrument or device will be placed into the fractured or broken vertebra. This will prevent further vertebral structure collapse. The surgical instrument will then be removed, leaving a void. This void will then be filled with a stabilizing material, which helps stabilize the fracture and strengthen the vertebrae in shape. This procedure is most effective in treating severe collapse of the vertebrae and wedging. It is effective in preventing deformity of the spine, such as kyphotic or hunchback, and restores the spine to its normal alignment.

Vertebroplasty recovery period

The success rate for recovery after kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty is about 90%.  These procedures significantly relieve the pain caused by the fractured vertebrae. In case of wedging or vertebral collapse, the chances of success and recovery are higher if the procedure is done within six weeks after the fracture is sustained.

The procedure is outpatient, which means that hospitalization is unnecessary. However, following the procedure, you may be required to stay in the recovery room to rest. You will then be asked to take a short walk after you have rested enough. If the condition is severe and if the professional advices that you might need monitoring, you will be hospitalized overnight. This usually happens when your general health is not that good, the procedure involved several vertebrae or there were complications during or after the procedure. But in most cases, you are allowed to go home after the procedure. You will need to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding any medications or activities that you can or can’t do. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your progress.

Recovery after vertebroplasty

Although hospitalization is not generally necessary in vertebroplasty, you may be required to have a bed rest for the first 24 hours after the procedure. The patient is encouraged to slowly increase activities, starting from walking and gradually to more complex movements. Normally, the patient will experience soreness on the affected area for a few days. This can be relieved by ice pack application or medication. But it usually goes away on its own after a few days.

Reports show that 90% of the time, patients who undergo percutaneous vertebroplasty experience better pain reduction with the first 48 hours after the procedure. They also regain strength and are able to perform daily activities and movements shortly thereafter. For vertebral compression fractures, this procedure can relieve the pain and other symptoms for up to three years after the procedure.

Kyphoplasty recovery, on the other hand, is faster in most cases. For some patients, pain relief is almost immediate after the procedure. However, for other patients, the pain reduction is experienced not immediately but certainly within two days. The patients are allowed to go home after the procedure and can resume to their normal daily activities. But they are prohibited from engaging with strenuous activities like heavy lifting for at least six weeks. This ensures faster recovery and better results.

The advancements in technology have really created a huge impact on vertebral augmentation procedures. Now, you don’t have to suffer from the deformity and the pain anymore if you have spinal fracture, wedging or osteoporosis. All you need to do is schedule an appointment with Arizona Pain and Spine Institute to have your condition treated. Let our professionals perform the necessary procedure to help you live a pain-free and normal life.