Procedure Description

Vertebroplasty-1Vertebral Augmentation, also known as Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty, is a treatment for painful vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy. Vertebral Augmentation is a minimally invasive treatment performed by interventional radiologists using imaging guidance.  This simple procedure is designed to stabilize the collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement. This reduces pain, and can prevent further collapse of the vertebra, thereby preventing the height loss and spine curvature commonly seen as a result of osteoporosis. Vertebral Augmentation dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure, provides long-term pain relief and has a low complication rate, as demonstrated in multiple studies.

If left untreated, compromised vertebra can become compressed or flattened into a wedge shape. Once this occurs, the compression fracture cannot be treated effectively. For information on other nonsurgical pain treatments for bone tumors, visit the Bone Cancer section of the SIR Web site.

Conditions Treated

Osteoporotic and/or some traumatic compression fractures of the spine.

Am I a good candidate?

Patients with persistent spinal pain lasting more than three months should consult an interventional radiologist, and people who require constant pain relief with narcotics should seek help immediately.

Procedure Prep

Vertebral Augmentation is typically done as an outpatient procedure.

Recovery Time

Patients are able to go home, on average, within 3 hours following the procedure.  Patients typically resume normal activity the following day (24 hours).

First Steps

Osteoporotic patients should consult with their primary care physicians on the benefits of Vertebral Augmentation.   Diagnosis of compression fractures will have been made with some form of medical imaging, preferably an MRI.

Benefits Comparison

Shorter recovery time, faster pain relief, less dependence on narcotic pain medication.

Resources

Other Information

Elderly population: Patients resume daily activities faster and are not confined to a bed for extended recovery time, thereby preventing the loss of muscle strength (i.e. deconditioning).

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