Vertebroplasty is surgery to strengthen a broken vertebra that has been weakened due to osteoporosis, vascular malformations, or cancer.
What is vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is an image-guided, minimally invasive, non-surgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebra that has been weakened due to osteoporosis, vascular malformations, or cancer. Vertebroplasty can increase the patient’s functional abilities, allow a return to the previous level of activity, and prevent further vertebral collapse.
Preparing for a vertebroplasty
In preparation for your procedure be required to avoid eating the night before your surgery. The surgeon may also advise you to temporarily stop taking certain medications and supplements that may increase your risk of bleeding.
What to expect during a vertebroplasty
You will undergo a detailed assessment to provide the surgeon with the information necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.
The procedure is performed under mild sedation anaesthesia and will require you to lie flat on your stomach. The surgeon will use an image-guided x-ray to slowly pass a special bone needle through the soft tissues of the back. A small amount of orthopaedic cement, called polymethylmethacrylate, is pushed through the needle into the vertebral body. The cement is mixed with a powder containing barium or tantalum, which allows it to be seen on the X-ray. When the cement is injected it is like a thick paste but hardens rapidly.
The tiny incision will be closed with a strip of tape and covered with a bandage that should remain on for several days. Within a few hours, you should be mobile and will likely be able to go home the same day.
Recovery after a vertebroplasty
For two or three days afterwards, you may feel a bit sore where the needle was inserted, but you can treat this with a cold compress. You will be able to increase your activity gradually and resume all your regular medications.
Next steps: Book your vertebroplasty consultation
If you are ready to discuss your vertebroplasty needs with our board-certified surgeons, request a consultation today. During your consultation your patient care coordinator will discuss:
- Your medical history
- Diagnosis and Treatment options
- Potential risks and complications