What is vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCF) where special cement is injected into a fractured vertebra and the bones that make up the spinal column. These procedures are helpful in immobilizing the bone fragments and reduce pain immediately.
Potential benefits of vertebroplasty include:
- Short operating period
- general anesthesia or local anesthesia is quite less in quantity
- discharge from the hospital is on the same day (or less).
- faster recovery and returning to their normal activities.
- No bracing required.
There are alternative treatments which surgeon may discuss for the vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty procedures. In conditions such as weight loss and use of medication to relieve pain physical therapy and orthopedic braces may aid in decompressing or mobilizing the spine because of mechanical techniques.
Risks and potential complications
The most general complications of any surgery includes bleeding, infection, blood clots, and reactions to anesthesia. The following are specific risks that should be considered.
- Cement leakage.
- Nerve damage
- New vertebral fractures.
- Residual pain.
The right candidates for Vertebroplasty are people with painful progressive back pain secondary to osteoporotic or pathologic vertebral compression fractures. Most of the candidates for these procedures often experience very less mobility which ultimately results into fractures. Treatment
In case of vertebroplasty the bone cement called polymethylmethacrylate is injected through the needle into the fractured bone. Initially a balloon is first inserted and inflated to expand the compressed vertebra to its normal height before the space is filled with bone cement. Here the procedures are repeated for each affected vertebra. With the help of cement-strengthened vertebra it allows patients to stand straight, reduces their pain, and prevents further fractures.