The basis of both interventions treating osteoporotic fracture / vertebral fracture is drilling one or two holes by means of a special surgical drill and the insertion of fluid cement into the vertebra. Patients can undergo this kind of surgery in local or a short general anaesthesia. The cement hardens within a few minutes, increases spinal stability and stops the pain.
There is a small difference between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. During the more sensitive vertebroplasty, cement is injected into natural spongy cavities of vertebrae; whereas during kyphoplasty, a balloon creates artificial cavities previous to the injection. The results are at least the same.
The vertebroplasty is very easy on the body and especially suitable for elderly people, which can undergo surgery in local anaesthesia. The treatment of several vertebrae during one intervention is possible.
After a postoperative break of 4-6 hours, patients can stand up and walk. A supporting brace can be useful, but it is definitely not always necessary. Physiotherapy can start a few days later.