Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure designed to relieve back pain caused by fractures in the vertebrae that have not healed normally. The fractures are stabilized by injecting bone cement into the compressed vertebra, which can significantly alleviate back pain. Vertebroplasty also prevents further vertebral collapse, which is associated with height loss and the curving of the spine commonly seen with osteoporosis. With non-surgical therapies like vertebroplasty, you may experience less pain and may be able to return more quickly to previous activity levels.
What to Expect
- We will contact you prior to your appointment to review current medications, your medical history, and potential risks. We will also answer any questions you might have about the procedure.
- The use of sedation during your procedure is at the radiologist’s discretion. If sedation is prescribed, you’ll receive detailed instructions so you know what to expect.
- If sedated, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for 12 hours post-procedure due to the effects of the medications.
- Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
- On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early to check in.
- Although complications are rare, we will review possible side effects and risks with you prior to your exam so you can ask questions and decide if this exam is right for you.
- When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
- You will lie on your stomach on a cushioned table. The radiologist will numb a small area of skin using a local anesthetic.
- Using X-ray guidance, the radiologist will insert a thin needle and inject contrast solution. The contrast solution will highlight your anatomy to make sure the vertebrae thought to be causing your pain are precisely targeted.
- The radiologist will then insert a specialized needle through the skin into the damaged vertebra. A bone cement, which has the consistency of toothpaste, will be injected through the needle into the bone.
- The material will begin to harden within 20 minutes, helping to stabilize the fractured vertebra.
- It is possible to treat more than one fractured vertebra at a time, if necessary.
- Throughout the procedure, a radiologist and nurse will monitor your condition and comfort level closely.
- You will be asked to stay at our center for a period of time after the procedure, depending on the number of fractures that are treated.
- When your procedure is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
- We will provide you with rehabilitation guidelines to follow after the procedure.
- Most patients experience noticeable pain relief following the procedure.
- You may experience some mild soreness at the injection site. Please call your physician’s office if you have any concerns.