Effect of an Outer Sleeve on an Inflatable Balloon Tamp in Terms of Height Restoration Under Simulated Physiological Load

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Study Design:

An in vitro biomechanical study.


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an optional sleeve on height restoration and compare it with the fracture reduction achieved by a commercially available inflatable bone tamp under simulated physiological load (110 N).

Summary of Background Data:

Loss of reduction after bone tamp deflation before cement injection still remains a concern. The optional sleeve surrounds the bone tamp to help maintain height during the kyphoplasty procedure while filling the created cavity with bone cement on the contralateral side.


Eighteen osteoporotic vertebral bodies (VBs) (T11–L4) were alternately assigned to 1 of the 2 treatment groups: group A: KYPHON (Kyphon Inc.) and group B: AFFIRM with sleeve (Globus Medical Inc.). The VBs were compressed axially at a rate of 5 mm/min until compressed to 40% of the initial anterior height. The fractured VBs then underwent kyphoplasty with cement augmentation while still maintaining load (110 N). The augmented VBs were then recompressed and anterior VB height (mm) and wedge angle (degrees) were measured initially after mechanically creating an anterior wedge fracture, and after repairing the compression fracture. The effect of kyphoplasty on vertebral height, kyphotic angle, cement volumes, and inflation pressures were compared between the treatment groups. Failure load (N) data were compared between intact and repaired VBs.


Average percentage of lost VB height restored in group A was 30%, compared with 56% for group B. The mean changes in wedge angle were similar to those of vertebral height measurements. No significant difference in mean inflation pressures (group A: 175±37 psi; group B: 160±36 psi) were found between the 2 groups. Average percentage increase in failure load was 241% and 212% in groups A and B, respectively.


Some height restoration was observed using the commercially available bone tamp in fractured VBs under simulated physiological load. The use of an outer sleeve significantly enhanced height restoration compared with the inflatable bone tamp alone.

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