Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure used to treat the painful compression fractures in the spine. Compression fractures are the fractures that usually occur in the middle or lower parts of the spine. Fractures in spine generally occur when the bones in spine undergo trauma or are infected by cancer. Old people whose bones have become fragile and people with osteoporosis who haven't found relief from pain through bed rest, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy and back braces go for this procedure.
People are suggested to go for Vertebroplasty if:
- You suffer from severe pain.
- Fractured vertebra has resulted in complications such as deep vein thrombosis, osteoporosis, respiratory problems, loss of height etc.
Procedure Steps in Vertebroplasty
Before the Procedure
- The doctor will ask your medical history and conduct a physical exam to know the exact location and type of vertebra-related pain. X-rays, MRI and CT scan can be carried out.
- The doctor will ask whether you are taking any medications or herbal supplements.
- Inform your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders.
During the Procedure
- The patient is given anaesthesia to numb the operation area.
- A continuous X-ray is used to guide a biopsy needle into the fractured vertebra.
- Then, the doctor will inject specially formulated cement into the fractured vertebra to fill the spaces.
- Thereafter, the doctor will remove the needle.
- A gap of about 10 minutes is left for the cement to harden and then the skin is covered with a bandage.
After the Procedure
- You will be under observation for 1 to 2 hours.
- The doctor will provide over-the counter drugs and it will take 24-48 hours for pain to get relieved.
- You should avoid heavy lifting or vigorous physical activities for 6 weeks.
- You can come for follow-up treatments regularly.