Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for treating compression fractures of the spine. A compression fracture is a collapse of the bone, usually caused by osteoporosis or cancer. This therapy stabilizes the weakened or crushed bone, decreasing the pain and helping to prevent further fractures at that site.
The therapy is performed by inserting a special needle into the affected bone and injecting a glue-like cement substance, which strengthens the internal structure of the bone. Vertebroplasty relieves pain and increases mobility for more than 80 percent of patients.
Patient Information for Vertebroplasty
What to expect
A neuro interventionalist who specializes in this procedure will see you in our outpatient clinic and evaluate you and your history to make sure you can benefit from the procedure. An image of your spine and lab work usually are ordered in preparation of vertebroplasty.
Your procedure will require mild sedation, and anesthetic. You will be positioned comfortably on your stomach while the neuro interventionalist uses real-time X rays to position the needle and insert it into the fractured bone. You will be monitored throughout the hour-long procedure by our staff and will be able to return home later that day.
Most patients feel pain relief from their fracture as soon as the procedure is complete.
You may not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to your procedure. Certain blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, may need to be discontinued for a period of days before your procedure. Your physician will give you more specific instructions.
Side effects and complications
Possible complications include infection, bleeding, pain, numbness or tingling. Paralysis is an extremely rare complication. The neuroinventionalist will discuss all of these possibilities with you and will answer any questions before you schedule a vertebroplasty.
You can expect to feel some soreness at the point of the needle insertion for two to three days. Ice or heat can help alleviate that discomfort. Bed rest is recommended for the 24-hour period following the procedure.
We will want to see you in our office about two weeks after your vertebroplasty.