What is Vertebroplasty?A vertebroplasty procedure, also known as ‘kyphoplasty’, is the minimally invasive procedure to treat compression fractures of the spine. This procedure is useful in stabilizing the spinal fracture as well as to relieve the pain caused by the fracture.
What is the procedure for Vertebroplasty?A vertebroplasty procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to treat spinal compression fractures as well as to relieve the intense back pain caused by it. A vertebroplasty procedure requires the surgeon to administer local anesthesia to the back along with light sedation usually in an x-ray suite for assistance in the procedure. The surgeon will start with a biopsy needle by inserting it into the fractured vertebra with the guidance of the x-ray device, directly from the skin above the spinal column. Special acrylic bone cement is injected under pressure into the fractured vertebra thereby filling the gaps in the bone that hardens swiftly to provide the required support to the damaged and weakened vertebra. This acrylic bone cement is a medical-grade artificially formulated substance that acts as an ‘internal cast’ for the fractured bone. This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure and you will most probably be allowed to go home after the doctor has determined that you have recovered from the affects of the sedative and anesthetic.
What are the risks associated with a Vertebroplasty?Potential complications and risks are seen in very rare cases (around 3%) after undergoing vertebroplasty procedure. These are the rare complications seen in a person after a vertebroplasty procedure:
- Numbness/tingling sensation
- Back pain increases
- Paralysis symptoms
- Venous embolism (blood clot in a vein)
- Nerve root compression
- Spinal cord compression
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clots that block artery in the lungs)