Frequently Asked Questions

What is a spine fracture?

A spine fracture is the collapse of a vertebra. Multiple fractures contribute to chronic pain, reduced quality of life, and an increased risk for more fractures.

What should I know about spine fracture treatments?

Multiple treatments are available: non-operative care, invasive spine surgery, and minimally invasive procedures, such as vertebroplasty, conventional balloon kyphoplasty, RF Kyphoplasty, and Radiofrequency-Targeted Vertebral Augmentation™ (RF-TVA™).

Vertebroplasty outcomes can be outweighed by vertebroplasty risks, such as cement leaking from the vertebra(e) injection site. Back pain after kyphoplasty is measurably reduced. RF-TVA™ (RF Kyphoplasty) provides rapid and lasting back pain relief.

Is RF-TVA right for me?

Patients with coagulation disorders, severe pulmonary insufficiency, or sensitivity to any of the components found in the bone cement are not qualified to undergo RF-TVA. Consult your physician to see if RF-TVA is right for you and to discuss other potential concerns, including risks, and complications.

What are the potential benefits of RF-TVA?

Benefits experienced during RF Kyphoplasty recovery can include:

  • Significant, immediate and lasting back pain relief 1-11
  • Significant improvement in mobility and quality of life 1-5
  • Return to daily activities soon after procedure 1,3

What risks are associated with RF-TVA?

As with most surgical procedures, serious adverse events can occur, some of which can be fatal. RF-TVA is designed to minimize risks as much as possible and avoid complications. However, potential serious adverse events that can occur include:

  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Pulmonary embolism (cement leakage that migrates to the lungs)
  • Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Cardiac arrest (heart stops beating)
  • Paralysis or muscle weakness
  • Death

A prescription is required. Consult your physician to learn if this procedure is right for you and to discuss these and other risks, including complications.

What should I expect during the procedure?

RF-TVA is typically an outpatient procedure but may be done on an inpatient basis, depending on your physical condition. The procedure usually requires only sedation, local anesthesia and a small incision to access the vertebra. The entire procedure takes, on average, 30 to 40 minutes to complete.1,2,10,12-14

What should I expect following the procedure?

A small band-aid is placed over the incision following treatment. You'll then spend several hours in the recovery room, after which time you will be able to return home.

How soon after the procedure can I resume my normal activities?

RF-TVA has been shown to significantly reduce pain and improve mobility; patients can return to daily activities soon after RF-TVA, usually the day after the procedure.5,7

Can spine fractures affect my overall health?

In addition to lasting pain, clinical studies have documented other important health concerns that are linked to having a vertebral compression fracture:

  • Impaired function and decreased mobility15
  • Increased depression, anxiety, and dependence on others16
  • Patients with a fracture in the mid back (thoracic region) experience a 9% decrease in lung function17
  • Having one spine fracture increases a patient's risk of having another fracture by 20%18
  • Female patients with a spine fracture experience a 23% increase in mortality18


  1. Murphy K. Radiofrequency Kyphoplasty: A Novel Approach to Minimally Invasive Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures in The Comprehensive Treatment of the Aging Spine: Minimally Invasive and Advanced Techniques edited by Yue JJ, Guyer R, Johnson JP, Khoo LT, Hochschuler H, and Hochschuler SH. Elsevier. Pg 248-252.
  2. Elgeti F and Gebauer B. Radiofrequency Kyphoplasty for the Treatment of Osteoporotic and Neoplastic Vertebral Body Fractures: Preliminary Experience and Clinical Results after 6 Months. J Mimer Stoffwechs. 2011;18 Suppl 1:S5-9.
  3. Licht A and Kramer W. Radiofrequency-Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Body Compression Fractures. Eurospine 2010.
  4. Pflugmacher R, Randau T, Kabir K, and Wirtz DC. Radiofrequency (RF) Kyphoplasty in treatment of osteolytic vertebral fractures. IOF 2010.
  5. Miko L, Szikora I, Grohs J, and Murphy K. Initial Clinical Experience with Radio-Frequency Based Vertebral Augmentation in Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures. SIR 2009.
  6. Sewall L, Smith S, and Vlahos A. Clinical Evaluation of Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation Procedures using Radiofrequency Kyphoplasty in Treatment of 69 Vertebral Compression Fractures. ASBMR 2010.
  7. Pflugmacher R, Bornemann R, Randau T, and Wirtz DC. Comparison of clinical and radiological data in treatment of patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with radiofrequency kyphoplasty or balloon kyphoplasty. IOF 2010.
  8. Heck P and Bayer-Helms H. Case report: Treatment by radiofrequency kyphoplasty of an 85-year-old woman with traumatic osteoporotic fracture of the first lumbar vertebra. J Miner Stoffwechs. 2011;18 Suppl 1:S29-31.
  9. Schekelmann R. Radiofrequency kyphoplasty – a case report on multiple osteoporotic sintering of the lumbar spine. J Miner Stoffwechs. 2011;18 Suppl 1:S32-34.
  10. Licht AW and Kramer W. Radiofrequency kyphoplasty: a new method for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral body compression fractures ¬– a case report. J Miner Stoffwechs. 2011;18 Suppl 1:S26-28.
  11. Drees P, Kafchitsas K, Mattyasovszky S, Juri S, and Breijawi N. Radiofrequency Kyphoplasty - An Innovative Method of Treating Osteoporotic Vertebral Body Compression Fractures. J Miner Stoffwechs. 2011;18 Suppl 1:S13-17.
  12. Licht, AW and Kramer W. One-year observation study upon a new augmentation procedure (Radiofrequency-Kyphoplasty) in the treatment of vertebral body compression fractures. Eurospine 2011.
  13. Erdem E, Akdol S, Amole A, Fryar K, and Eberle R. Initial Clinical Experience with Radio-Frequency Based Vertebral Augmentation in Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures As a Result of Multiple Myeloma. ASSR 2011.
  14. Pflugmacher, R, Bornemann, R, Randau, T, and Wirtz, DC. Comparison of clinical and radiological data in treatment of patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with radiofrequency kyphoplasty or balloon kyphoplasty. GRIBOI 2011 – The 21st Interdisciplinary Research Conference On Injectable Osteoarticular Biomaterials and Bone Augmentation Procedures.
  15. Silverman SL. The Clinical Consequences of Vertebral Compression Fracture, Bone. 1992;13 Suppl 2:S27-31.
  16. Gold D. The Clinical Impact of Vertebral Fractures. Bone. 1996;18:1855-1895.
  17. Schlaich C. Reduced Pulmonary Function in Patients with Spinal Osteoporotic Fractures. Osteoporosis Int 1998;8:261-267.
  18. Kado D, Browner W, et al. Vertebral Fractures and Mortality. Arch Inter Med. 1999;159:1215-1220.
RF-TVA Patient Story