Comparison of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for complications


Ji-dong Zhang, MD, Department of Spine Surgery, Tianjin Hospital, 406 Jiefang South Road, Hexi District, Tianjin, China, 300211 Tel: 0086-13652090295; Fax: 0086-022-28334734; Email:


Vertebroplasty (VP) and kyphoplasty (KP) have been proven equally effective in providing pain relief in patients with vertebral compression fractures (VCF). Both have been reported to have multiple complications which, though rare, are potentially devastating. This literature review focuses on comparing the incidence of various types of complication of VP and KP. Local cement leakage and pulmonary cement embolism have been reported more commonly after VP than KP. It is questionable whether the relative risk of developing an adjacent level new fracture after VP is greater than after KP The relationship between a new VCF and each of these procedures has also not been clearly established. Although the majority of complications are clinically silent, their potential risks, which include a fatal outcome, should always be kept in mind by the practitioner.