Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a special cement is injected into a fractured vertebra — with the goal of relieving your spinal pain and restoring your mobility. Compression fractures from osteoporosis are a common reason for a vertebroplasty.
A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the vertebra cannot fully support its load and starts to collapse due to tiny cracks forming in the bone. Typically, the front of the vertebra starts to collapse and begins to take a wedge shape. The collapsing part of the vertebra must lose at least 15% of its normal height to be considered a compression fracture.
It is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. Vertebroplasty is considered a minimally invasive surgery because it is done through a small puncture in the skin instead of an open incision. A typical vertebroplasty procedure usually takes about 1 hour to complete.
Bone cement is injected into back bones (vertebrae) that have cracked or broken, often because of osteoporosis. The cement hardens, stabilizing the fractures and supporting your spine.
Not all people with fractured vertebrae are candidates for the procedure, however.
Some studies also suggest that vertebroplasty provides little benefit over a more conservative approach, which can include:
- Bed rest
- Pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
- Back braces
- Physical therapy
Patients should talk to the doctors at Prestige Pain Center about vertebroplasty’s risks and benefits.
Some doctors may recommend the procedure if:
- Traditional methods of treating your fractured vertebra or back pain fail
- You suffer from severe or prolonged pain or immobility
- The fractured vertebra has led to more serious complications, including: Deep vein thrombosis, acceleration of osteoporosis, respiratory problems, loss of height and emotional or social issues.