Vertebral augmentation involves X-ray guided percutaneous placement of bone cement into symptomatic, painful vertebral body fractures. Indications for this form of treatment include osteoporotic compression fractures; metastatic lesions from breast, lung, prostate, or other malignancies; or cases of primary neoplasm to the spine.  Fellowship-trained pain specialists at Auburn Pain Specialists perform kyphoplasty (instead of vertebroplasty) since there is less risk of bone cement leaving the vertebral body and causing complications.

Kyphoplasty involves the introduction of inflatable bone tamps into the fractured vertebral body to create a low-pressure cavity into which bone cement is placed, thereby reducing the vertebral fracture and theoretically improving a kyphotic deformity. Pain relief is theorized to be from internal fixation of trabecular bone. Kyphoplasty is usually performed either in our in-office procedure suite or in an outpatient setting under sterile conditions with sedation or general anesthesia.  After the procedure patients lie flat for approximately 30 minutes.  Upon assuming an upright posture, most patients notice immediate pain relief and are able to resume their normal activities.

By James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons