This procedure may be recommended if you are suffering from pain caused by a vertebral compression fracture. This means that a vertebra (part of your spine) has collapsed, possibly due to a fall or the weakening of the vertebra.
Vertebroplasty is a pain treatment for vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy, with no pain relief despite large analgesics or narcotic doses.
Vertebroplasty is a non-surgical treatment performed by an interventional radiologist using imaging guidance to insert medical grade cement into the vertebra, which dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure and providing long-term pain relief.
When Is This Procedure Conducted?
Vertebroplasty is performed to ease back pain, which is caused by vertebral compression fractures. Vertebral fractures are a common cause of pain and disability and are associated with increased mortality.
Vertebroplasty was first performed in France in 1984 to treat compression fractures caused by bone cancer or bone metastasis, and later to treat compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
The procedure has been shown to provide continued pain relief for osteoporotic compression fractures. Vertebroplasty is an effective treatment for osteoporotic compression fractures when pain is severe and persistant.
How Does This Procedure Work?
The interventional radiologist inserts a needle through a nick in the skin in the back, directing it under fluoroscopy (continuous, moving X-ray imaging) into the fractured vertebra.
The interventional radiologist then injects the medical-grade bone cement into the vertebra. Vertebroplasty takes from one to two hours to perform depending on how many bones are treated. The cement hardens within 15 minutes and stabilizes the fracture, like an internal cast.
How Will I Feel After The Procedure?
You may experience immediate pain relief after vertebroplasty.
Most patients report that their pain is gone or significantly better within 48 hours.
Generally, you are able to resume your normal activities immediately.
How Successful Is Vertebroplasty?
MRI is usually performed to access the vertebral bodies involved and to distinguish acute from chronic fractures.
Following vertebroplasty, most patients find a marked improvement in their pain. Within a few days, many patients are able to reduce their pain medications significantly and return to the normal daily activities that had been inhibited by their painful vertebral compression fractures. Most patients report sustained pain relief, even years later.
A large number of studies have found vertebroplasty to be an effective and safe way to treat vertebral fractures, especially when high-quality image guidance is used; Success rates as high as 90% in significantly relieving pain associated with vertebral compression factures, improved mobility and other quality of life improvements.
Summary of Benefits of Vertebroplasty
- Non-surgical treatment – quick recovery time
- Safe and highly effective treatment for vertebral compression fractures
- Dramatically improves pain within hours
- Reduction in pain medications
- Provides long term pain relief
- Improves mobility and better quality of life
- Reduced bone loss from spine if bed bound prior to treatment
Learn more about the treatment at http://cirse.org/index.php?pid=1081