COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty

Kyphoplasty  and vertebroplasty are techniques used to treat fractures of the spine due to weakness of the vertebrae and aim to stop pain and stabilise the spine. It is often used to treat painful vertebral compression factures caused by osteoporosis but it is also effective in treating damage caused by metastatic tumour, multiple myeloma and vertebral haemangioma.

Kyphoplasty is minimally invasive spinal surgery using a small incision in the back to treat painful vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), which are often caused by osteoporosis.

In kyphoplasty, a balloon is inserted into the vertebral body and inflated to restore shape and height to the fractured bone. The balloon is then removed and the bone cement injected. (Click here for further details of balloon kyphoplasty)

In vertebroplasty, the bone cement (polymethylmethacrylate) is injected through a hollow needle into the broken areas of bone to stabilize the spine, but no attempt is made to restore the former height of the bone.


Osteoporosis causes bones to lose their density, and strength, with ageing which places them at greater risk of fracturing. It is estimated that three million people in the UK have osteoporosis resulting in pain and disability. Other conditions also cause weakness of the spine and increased risk of disc compression.


The most common symptom is lower back pain with then problems straightening your back. Numbness can be felt in the shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs and feet with pain also in the neck. Sciatica will cause pain in the buttocks, hips or legs.


A physician will carry out a bone density scan which takes about five minutes. People with osteoporosis are more prone to falls and fractures so accurate and timely diagnosis is essential.


We offer highly effective diagnosis and treatments such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty to stop the pain and restore some or all of the spinal structure damaged by a compression fracture

Kyphoplasty involves a small incision in the back through which a doctors places a narrow tube that is guided to the point of the problem. A special balloon is introduced through the tube and is then carefully inflated to elevate the fracture and return the spin to its normal position. The soft inner bone is then compacted to create a cavity which is filled with a cement-like substance called polymethylmehtacrylate (PMMA) which hardens and stabilises the bone.

The operation takes about an hour and patients normally spend 24 hours in hospital before being considered for a return home.

In vertebroplasty, the same disciplines are followed only the PMMA is injected via a needle to repair the broken areas but no attempt is made to restore the former height of the bone. The bone cement acts as a type of internal cast to stabilize the spine. Most patients experience a 90% reduction in pain within 24-48 hours.

Contact us

If you would like to know more about our Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty procedure then contact us today by phone on 020 3370 1030 or email spinespecialists@hje.org.uk

Spine Clinic

The Spine Clinic at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is a centre for excellence in the diagnosis, intervention and aftercare of all spinal conditions.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1030.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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