The biomechanical effects of kyphoplasty on treated and adjacent nontreated vertebral bodies

Marta L. Villarraga, Anthony J. Bellezza, Timothy P. Harrigan, Peter A. Cripton, Steven M. Kurtz, Avram A. Edidin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


It remains unclear whether adjacent vertebral body fractures are related to the natural progression of osteoporosis or if adjacent fractures are a consequence of augmentation with bone cement. Experimental or computational studies have not completely addressed the biomechanical effects of kyphoplasty on adjacent levels immediately following augmentation. This study presents a validated two-functional spinal unit (FSU) T12-L2 finite element model with a simulated kyphoplasty augmentation in L1 to predict stresses and strains within the bone cement and bone of the treated and adjacent nontreated vertebral bodies. The findings from this multiple-FSU study and a recent retrospective clinical study suggest that changes in stresses and strains in levels adjacent to a kyphoplasty-treated level are minimal. Furthermore, the stress and strain levels found in the treated levels are less than injury tolerance limits of cancellous and cortical bone. Therefore, subsequent adjacent level fractures may be related to the underlying etiology (weakening of the bone) rather than the surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone cement
  • Finite element analysis
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Stress
  • Vertebral body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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