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Vertebroplasty

A vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that relieves back pain caused by osteoporotic spinal fractures using bone cement injected directly into the broken back bone through a small incision.

How to Prepare for a Vertebroplasty

  • Please arrive 2-4 hours before your procedure for lab tests. Your referring physician may require you to get additional image testing to provide your interventional radiologist with a clear view of the spinal fracture.
  • If you are take blood thinners, you may need to stop a week before your procedure is done.

What to Expect

  • The procedure takes one hour (will take longer if more than one vertebra is being treated).
  • You will be under light sedation injected through an IV, so you will be awake, but should not experience pain during the procedure.
  • You are positioned on your stomach throughout the procedure, and your interventional radiologist accesses the spine through the back.
  • A small incision is made on your back, and under X-ray guidance, your interventional radiologist inserts the needle until the tip is inside the fractured vertebra.
  • Bone cement is fed from the needle into the fracture to fill the cavity, gluing the bone back together. It takes minutes to harden. Your interventional radiologist monitors this through X-rays to make sure the cement has set properly.
  • The needle is removed, and the area of incision is dressed.

What to Expect after Vertebroplasty

  • Recovery from the procedure takes 4 to 6 hours, and you can go home the same day the procedure was completed.
  • You should experience pain relief within a few hours after the procedure.
  • We want to make sure that you’re comfortable and improving – Your interventional radiologist will schedule a follow up appointment 1 to 2 weeks post-procedure to monitor your progress.

For More Information

For more information on the vertebroplasty procedure, or to schedule an appointment with an interventional radiologist, please call 847.570.2160.