Vertebroplasty is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure utilized to secure compression fractures in the spinal cord. Often due to the onset of osteoporosis, back bones or vertebrae that have been fractured or cracked an injected with bone cement. As the bone cement hardens, the fracture is then stabilized to support the broken spine. In some cases, one or even multiple vertebrae needs to be treated. This procedure is known to substantially lessen and manage the pain and enables the patient to return to their customary routines.
The patient lies down on their stomach while getting ready for the procedure. A medication to relax your nerve is given while the skin and tissue of the back is desensitized using a local anesthetic. This also desensitizes the skin and tissue covering the spine. In this procedure, a small x-ray devise referred to as a fluoroscope is utilized to help the physician see the image where the exact position of the needle is located. This is done to accurately guide the tip of the needle to the location of the collapsed vertebra or vertebrae.
After validating the location of the tip of the needle using the fluoroscope, the physician secures the needle in place then using the same needle injects the bone cement to the vertebra. As the bone cement enters and fills the fracture spaces within the vertebra, a subsequent injection may be considered to completely fill the inside of the fractured vertebra (or vertebrae). The bone cement is expected to harden within the following hour and fully if not completely fortify and sustain the injured spinal cord.
End of Procedure
After the procedure has been completed and the needle use to inject the bone cement has been removed, the entry point of the needle is cleaned and dressed. The patient is then asked to lie down for a few hours for monitoring as the bone cement is being set to harden. The physician will then provide post procedure prescription and medical care instruction to help with the recovery.