This minimally invasive technique is used when a vertebra has a compression fracture, a type of vertical break. A surgeon makes a small skin incision and places a tiny tube through it. Using the tube and small instruments, the doctor makes a hole in the vertebra. He then inserts into the bone a balloon-like device at the tube’s end and gently makes a cavity in the vertebra with it. The physician removes the device and fills the cavity with a quick-drying cement-like substance. This procedure relieves pain, stabilizes the break and allows for a quick return to normal activities.