JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kyphoplasty on fractured vertebra. Series of artworks illustrating the process of balloon kyphoplasty to repair a fractured vertebra. The sequence runs from upper left to lower right. The first artwork shows the keyhole incision made to access the vertebra being repaired (T12, the twelfth thoracic vertebra). This is followed by an inflatable bone tamp inserted into the vertebra through a cannula. The balloon is inflated (upper right), reducing the fracture, and then deflated and withdrawn (lower left). The resulting cavity is internally fixed by being filled with bone cement (methyl methacrylate). This sort of fracture is commonly seen in osteoporosis.
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