Vertebroplasty is a surgical procedure done to help provide stability to the fractured spine and to eliminate the sensation of pain resulting from the fracture. The procedure is minimally-invasive for the simple fact that it requires only a minute puncture into the patient’s skin.
The procedure starts off with the administration of a local anesthetic as well as minimal sedation for the patient. The procedure is performed in either an X-ray or an operating room and as an outpatient basis. With the assistance of X-ray guidance, a biopsy needle is inserted into the vertebra that is fractured. The needle is inserted through the minute puncture that was made earlier on.
Through the already inserted biopsy needle, a acrylic bone cement is pushed through to the fractured vertebra. The cement helps to fill up the empty spaces within the bone structure. This helps to create an internal version of a cast that serves to support the bone and provide stability. Once the cement has been inserted, the needle is taken out and within a span of approximately 10 minutes, the cement hardens to stone, causing the fragments of the fractured vertebra to thicken and the bone becomes stable. With that, the procedure is concluded and bandage is applied to the area where the injection took place.
Once the cement has hardened, the patient is discharged on the same day. It is highly recommended that the patient arrive for some form of transportation on the day of the procedure. The patient is advised to rest in a bed for a period of up to 24 hours and then slowly increase their level of activity. Patients may expect some degree of soreness at the site where the puncture was made, for a few days following the procedure but that can be managed with the application of an ice pack.