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.

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, 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 then 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 medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

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

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

    Make an enquiry

    Latest articles

    The latest news, insights and views from St John and Elizabeth Hospital.

    Find out what we’re doing to keep you safe, read expert articles and interviews with our leading specialist Consultants, learn more about common conditions and get your questions answered.

    Remember to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get the latest news sent straight to your inbox.

    a close up of above the pelvic region - a blog post about urology

    23rd July 2021

    What does a urologist do on the first visit?

    We look at the complex world of urology and what to expect on the first visit to a urologist.

    dr showing how to examine breasts for lumps

    16th July 2021

    How regular screenings at a breast clinic can keep you healthy

    Having screenings at a breast clinic can put your mind at rest or allow you to take early action if something abnormal is found.

    private surgeons performing a hernia operation

    09th July 2021

    Scheduled for a hernia operation? Here’s what to expect

    We look at hernias and the different types that can occur, what kind of symptoms might tell you you have a hernia and what to expect if you’re scheduled to have a hernia operation.

    A smiling nurse

    02nd July 2021

    How much does a cervical screening cost?

    Wondering how much a cervical screening costs? We examine this important procedure and…

    a close up of female skin side shoulder view

    18th June 2021

    Checking your skin at a private dermatology clinic

    We examine the functions of the skin, what can go wrong and when…

    a doctor talking to a patient at a private urgent care centre in london

    04th June 2021

    A private urgent care centre for when you need immediate attention

    There’s no need to wait around when you opt for a private urgent…

    A patient waiting at London Urology

    28th May 2021

    The 3 most common prostate problems you need to know about

    One in five men will experience prostate problems at some point in their…

    Fibroscan at The Gi Unit

    14th May 2021

    What is a Fibroscan: Five facts you may not know

    A Fibroscan is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure used to accurately assess…

    International Nurses Day blog banner

    11th May 2021

    International Nurses Day 2021 at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital

    This year’s theme of International Nurses Day is: “A Voice to Lead –…

    Close up of woman exercising on gym machine

    23rd April 2021

    Mr Dimitrios Tsekes: How to avoid a bicep injury in the gym, and how to treat a bicep tendon tear

    Mr Dimitrios Tsekes, a leading orthopaedic and upper-limb surgeon at our Shoulder Unit,…

    12th March 2021

    Patient safety awareness: our pledge

    Patient safety is at the heart of St John & St Elizabeth Hospital’s…

    03rd March 2021

    Ask the Expert: Cataracts

    Cataracts are a common issue affecting older adults, where cloudy patches form on…