Vertebroplasty is a procedure used to treat compression fractures in the spine. In vertebroplasty, special cement is injected into a fractured vertebra to stabilize the spine, restoring mobility and relieving back pain.
People are usually positioned lying in a face down position on a table for vertebroplasty. X-rays are then used to help the surgeon visualize the area as he or she maneuvers a thin needle into the space of the vertebral fracture and the cement is injected into the damaged area.
The cement takes about 10 minutes to harden, locking the fractured pieces of bone in place and providing stability.
Unlike kyphoplasty, instruments are not used to manipulate and position fragments of the vertebral fracture.
Vertebroplasty is used to treat compression fractures in the spine. A compression fracture occurs when a vertebra cracks or breaks due to disease or injury.
Vertebroplasty is not used to treat fractures that have already healed on their own.
You may be a good candidate for vertebroplasty if other treatments have failed and your fractured vertebra is causing severe pain, immobility, or more serious complications.
Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure (meaning an overnight hospital stay is usually not required). Either local or general anesthesia is used to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
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- Date of last review: May 17, 2017