What is Vertebroplasty?
- Who is a Candidate for Vertebroplasty?
- What Should Patients Expect After a Vertebroplasty?
- What Are the Results of a Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to repair a vertebral compression fracture. During the procedure bone cement is injected into the vertebra to help stabilize the spinal fracture.
This procedure is done in an outpatient surgical suite by either a spine surgeon or a pain management specialist under fluoroscopy (specialized x-ray machine). During the procedure a needle is inserted into the fractured vertebra and bone cement is injected into the fraction. As the cement hardens it will strengthen and stabilize the vertebra. This may relieve the pain completely.
Who is a Candidate for Vertebroplasty?
Candidates for Vertebroplasty typically have a vertebral compression fracture caused by osteoporosis, cancer, cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, hyperthyroidism and long term use of corticosteroids. Most patients are treated conservatively with a back brace called a TLSO. This brace immobilizes the spine allowing the fracture to heal.
What Should Patients Expect After a Vertebroplasty?
After the Vertebroplasty you will remain in the recovery room for a short time. The staff will help you walk within an hour of the procedure. You will be released to return home later in the day. You may experience some soreness from the procedure for the first 48 hours, but unlike open surgery you will not have a large incision. You may use ice packs to help relieve some of the soreness.
What Are the Results of a Vertebroplasty?
Most patients report immediate relief from the back pain they were having prior to their Vertebroplasty. Your physician may want you to begin vitamin supplements to help increase your bone density. You might be given a back brace to wear until your postoperative appointment. This helps stabilize your spine while the bone cement continues to harden. You may do some walking 2-3 times per day while in the house, during your first 48 hours after surgery. You may then advance your activities and begin to walk outside, but do not push yourself to the point of fatigue. Do not stay in bed most of the day. Try to be more active each day until you are able to resume normal activity.