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Kyphoplasty uses a specialized bone tamp with an inflatable balloon to expand a collapsed vertebral body as close as possible to its natural height before introducing mechanical fixation by injecting bone cement (polymethyl methacrylate, PMMA) into the expanded cavity. It is a different technique to percutaneous vertebroplasty which also involves the injection of bone cement into the body of the fractured vertebra.

In osteoporosis as of 2011 there is one randomised controlled trial which shows benefit compared to conservative treatment with all evidence being case series studies. There is no evidence of benefit compared to vertebroplasty[1].

The major complications are:

  • Spinal cord or spinal root nerve compromise
  • Pulmonary embolism of cement from leakage of the polymethylmethacrylate into epidural space and perivertebral veins.
    • Side-opening cannula reduce cement leakage[2]
  • Fractures in vertebrae adjacent to the treated vertebrae