Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. Bone cement is injected into back bones (vertebrae) that have cracked or broken, often because of osteoporosis. The cement hardens, stabilizing the fractures and supporting the spine.
For people with severe, disabling pain caused by a compression fracture, vertebroplasty can relieve pain, increase mobility and reduce the use of pain medication.
The patient will be sedated to help them relax and keep calm during the procedure, or general anesthesia for severe pain.
The doctor will use continuous x-ray to guide the needle into the fractured vertebra, with the body protected from radiation. The doctor will then inject the bone cement into the vertebra. The doctor might apply a second injection to completely fill it.
For the first 24 hours after vertebroplasty, bedrest or taking it easy at home will be recommended by the doctor. Activity levels may be increased gradually and most regular medications can be resumed.
Soreness may be present for a few days at the puncture site that may be relieved with an ice pack.
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