Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. 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.
Vertebroplasty is an innovative procedure that provides immediate pain relief in many cases by stabilizing and reinforcing fractured vertebrae. Guided by fluoroscopy (x-ray), the physician inserts a small needle into the damaged vertebrae and injects specially formulated bone cement. The cement hardens within 15 minutes, providing instant stability and pain relief by sealing the fracture.
For people with severe, disabling pain caused by a compression fracture, vertebroplasty can relieve pain, increase mobility and reduce the use of pain medication.
Kyphoplasty is similar to vertebroplasty, but uses special balloons to create spaces within the vertebra that are then filled with bone cement. Kyphoplasty can correct spinal deformity and restore lost height.
How Does this Technique Help?
Studies reveal that once a fracture occurs, it is five times more likely for further fractures to happen. The main section of each spinal vertebra is a large, round block of bone called a vertebral body. SCFs are caused when the vertebral body is weakened, resulting in variable degrees of collapse. SCF can lead to severe, prolonged back pain, limited movement, and the inability to complete routine activities.
In some cases, the top of the vertebral body collapses more in front, producing a “wedged” vertebrae. This type of collapse can lead to pain at the site of the fracture, compression of spinal nerves, a band-like chest pain, and shortening of the muscles on each side of the spine. It may also lead to a hunched or stooped appearance (kyphosis) and the loss of vertebral height.
How Long does the Procedure Take?
Vertebroplasty is safely performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure takes about one hour. Afterwards, there is a short period of observed recovery time.
What are the Expected Results?
Vertebroplasty has been delivering excellent outcomes since the early 1990s, achieving dramatic results in up to 90 percent of cases. Some patients experience immediate pain relief and most report that their pain is gone or significantly better within 48 hours. Typically, patients resume normal activity within 24 hours. Vertebroplasty resolves pain, stabilizes fractures, increases functional abilities, and reduces spinal deformity without surgery or prolonged recovery. By repairing the fracture, vertebroplasty promotes lasting pain relief.
Call for an Evaluation
Call our office to have one of our board certified physicians evaluate your condition. Our physicians specialize in pain management and offer many options for pain relief. Our phone number is (510) 582-8555.