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More Americans Suffer from Vertebral Compression Fractures

and one balloon (called a bone tamp) is inserted on each side. The two balloons are then inflated with contrast medium (which are visualized using image guidance x-rays) until they expand to the desired height and removed. The spaces created by the balloons are then filled with the cement. Kyphoplasty has the added benefit of restoring height to the spine.

Patients with the following criteria may be considered candidates for vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty:

?Osteoporotic VCFs in any area of the spine that have been present for more than two weeks, causing moderate to severe pain, and unresponsive to conservative therapy
?Painful metastases and multiple myelomas
?Painful vertebral hemangiomas (benign, malformed vascular tumors composed of newly formed blood vessels)
?Vertebral osteonecrosis (a condition resulting from poor blood supply to an area of bone, which causes bone death)
?Reinforcement of a pathologically weak vertebral body before a surgical stabilization procedure
Patients with any of the following criteria should not undergo these procedures:

?A VCF that is completely healed or is responding effectively to conservative therapy
?A VCF that has been present for more than one year
?Greater than 80 to 90 percent collapse of the vertebral body
?Spinal curvature such as scoliosis or kyphosis that is due to causes other than osteoporosis
?Spinal stenosis or herniated discs with nerve or spinal cord compression and loss of neurological function not associated with a VCF
?Untreated coagulopathy (a disease or condition affecting the blood's ability to coagulate)
?Osteomyelitis (an inflammation of the bone and bone marrow, usually caused by bacterial infection)
?Discitis (nonbacterial inflammation of an intervertebral disc or disc space)
?Significant compromise of the spinal canal caused by impeding bone fragment or tumor
Complication rates for vertebroplasty
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