Interventional Radiology

Vertebral Augmentation and Compression Fractures

Vertebroplasty is a nonsurgical treatment for pain caused by spinal compression fractures from osteoporosis or bone tumors.

Compression Fractures

Compression fractures are a painful type of spinal fracture. Abnormal weakness of the spine (vertebral bodies), caused by osteoporosis (common) or tumors (uncommon) predisposes to fracture. Osteoporosis is a common condition affecting millions. When the vertebrae of the spine are weakened by osteoporosis or tumors, even normal activities or minor trauma can cause compression fractures. Symptoms of compression fractures include pain, loss of mobility, height loss and bent-over deformity.

Treatment with Vertebral Augmentation

Vertebral Augmentation is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical method that stabilizes the fractured vertebrae using bone cement. It is also called Vertebroplasty, Kyphoplasty and Balloon Kyphoplasty. An interventional radiologist uses CT or X-ray to guide a needle into the fractured vertebrae, and special bone cement is injected. The bone cement hardens immediately, and most patients report significant pain relief.

What to Expect

First, you will meet with an interventional radiologist to determine whether you have a compression fracture, whether it is new, and whether vertebral augmentation is right for you. If you haven’t already, you will have an MRI or Bone Scan to evaluate your fracture.

On the day of your treatment, you will come to the Aspirus Wausau Hospital. You will speak again with your interventional radiologist before your procedure. The procedure takes about 1 hour. Most patients go home the same day.


Schedule a consult with an interventional radiologist to discuss compression fractures and vertebral augmentation.