A newer treatment option for compression fractures, called kyphoplasty, not only repairs the injury but also restores alignment using a balloon and helps prevent future problems. Traditional treatment options may successfully treat the injury; however, many patients are left at high risk for additional fractures, and kyphoplasty is a viable option.

Specialists in Spine Surgery

Get your Case Study Review by Dr. Darryl Antonacci, The Leader In Less Invasive Complex Spine Surgery.

darryl-antonoacci-tnTogether Dr. Antonacci and Dr. Betz have a combined 50+ years of experience in complex spine surgery.

Specialists in Spine Surgery

SpondylolisthesisHerniated Disc
M. Darryl Antonacci, MD
Chief Spine Surgeon & Director
Specialist in Pediatric & Adult Spine
Randal R. Betz, MD
Spine Surgeon
Specialist in Pediatric Spine

What is Kyphoplasty?

Traditional treatments for compression fractures include pain medications, bed rest, and spinal bracing, with surgical treatment rarely necessary. But when surgery is necessary, kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that uses orthopedic cement or new bone substitute materials to “rebuild” the vertebral space lost as a result of the compression fracture and return it to its original height. The procedure also relieves pain and stabilizes the vertebrae to prevent future injury.

How Kyphoplasty Works

Kyphoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia. The physician makes a small incision in the skin of the back and, using image guidance x-ray technology, threads a narrow tube through the skin to the fractured vertebrae. A special balloon, called a bone tamp, is then inserted through the tube into the vertebral space and gently inflated, restoring the space to the desired height. Once the appropriate height has been restored, the balloon is removed and the space is filled with orthopedic cement called PMMA (Polymethylmethacrylate).

This cement hardens and repairs the fracture as well as provides strength and stability to the vertebrae, restores height, and relieves pain. Recently, in some cases a bone substitute has been used for this purpose, but long term results are not known. On average, a kyphoplasty procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes per fracture treated.

What are the Benefits of Kyphoplasty?

In addition to repairing the compression fracture, restoring height to the spinal column, and relieving pain, kyphoplasty has the following additional benefits:

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure, which means small incisions and short surgical recovery time.
  • Patients only need to stay in the hospital for one day (sometimes less).
  • Most patients experience immediate pain relief and are quickly able to return to their normal daily activities.
  • No bracing is required.

Another important benefit of this procedure is that it can prevent future fractures by stabilizing the vertebrae, thereby preventing the onset or worsening of severe spinal deformity. While it works best for recent fractures, some patients with older injuries may also benefit. Kyphoplasty is not appropriate for severe spinal deformities caused by repeated compression fractures or fractures that are the result of cancer or injuries sustained in auto accidents or falls.

What are the Risks of Kyphoplasty?

As with any surgical procedure, kyphoplasty does have potential risks and complications. The most common complication is cement leaking out of the vertebra before it hardens. Other risks include cement leaking into the spinal canal, causing pain and neurological problems. In rare cases, pulmonary embolism of the lungs and even death have been associated with this procedure. It is important that the procedure is done by a spine surgeon familiar with treating this rare complication, if it occurs. Your physician will help you assess the risks and benefits to kyphoplasty.

Selecting Kyphoplasty Surgery

We perform kyphoplasty at our practice. Most of our patients report a significant reduction in pain within 48 hours of the procedure. They are able to quickly return to their normal activities, often the same day as the procedure. However, this procedure is not appropriate for everyone. If you have a compression fracture, you will meet with one of our spine specialists to see what treatment options are best suited for your condition.


Our Office Is Conveniently Located in Central New Jersey

Have Your Spine Case Doctor-Reviewed by Nationally Renowned Spine Surgeon, Dr. Darryl Antonacci. After Doctors’s review, a staff member from Dr. Antonacci’s and Dr. Betz’s office will contact you typically within 48 hours for more information about your condition or to schedule an appointment.

Our Office Location


Near Princeton, NJ
3100 Princeton Pike,
Bldg. 1-D
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Office: 609-912-1500
Fax: 609-912-1600

NJ Spine Surgery Treatment Centers

Saint Peter’s University Hospital,
New Brunswick, NJ

254 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP)
1 Plainsboro Road,
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Mount Sinai Medical Center,
New York City

1 Gustave L. Levy Pl, New York, NY 10029
Scoliosis Research Society National Board of Medical Examiners AOSpine Europe Consumers Research Council of America


Our patients have shared their experiences and gratitude with us and we invite you to read their words yourself.


Meet with the leader in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery. Ask questions of concern and learn more about your options. Dr. Antonacci is looking forward to meeting with you.


You are not alone and many others have asked similar questions you may have. Read more to understand about spine surgery through Dr. Antonacci's approach.