Vertebroplasy can be used to treat patients with vertebral compression fractures. This procedure is often performed on patients who have not responded well to conventional pain management treatments and on patients with weaker bones who cannot tolerate open spinal surgery. It is a minimally invasive surgical approach to manage the symptoms of vertebral compression fractures including pain and spinal instability.
This outpatient procedure involves injecting polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) into the fractured vertebral bone under radioscopic (X-Ray) guidance. This repairs the fracture and provides relief from pain. The skin surrounding the injection site is numbed with a local anesthetic before the injection begins.
Vertebroplasty is relatively safe procedure, but does have some risks. These risks include infection, pain and numbness at the injection site, bleeding, allergic reactions, cement leakage, fractures and respiratory distress. A common side effect is soreness at the site of injection that can be alleviated by applying ice to the affected area.
Vertebroplasy is a very effective treatment, with over 75% of patients reporting significant relief from the back pain associated with a vertebral compression fracture.
- Prospective measurement of function and pain in patients with non-neoplastic compression fractures treated with vertebroplasty; Prather H, Van Dillen L, Metzler JP, Riew KD, Gilula LA.
- Prospective analysis of clinical outcomes after percutaneous vertebroplasty for painful osteoporotic vertebral body fractures. Do HM, Kim BS, Marcellus ML, Curtis L, Marks MP.