Vertebroplasty treatment is a procedure which is used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column which are a common result of osteoporosis. Vertebroplasty treatment is a procedure in which special cement is injected into a fractured vertebra with the goal of relieving your spinal pain and restoring your mobility. Not all people with fractured vertebrae are candidates for this procedure. Some studies also suggest that vertebroplasty provides little benefit over a more conservative approach, which can include:
- Bed rest
- Pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
- Back braces
- Physical therapy
How vertebroplasty works
During the vertebroplasty treatment procedure your doctor will;
- Gives you sedation medication to help you relax and keep calm during the procedure, or general anesthesia for severe pain.
- Uses a continuous X-ray to guide the needle into the fractured vertebra, with your body protected from the radiation.
- Slowly injects cement into the vertebra. Your doctor might apply a second injection to completely fill the vertebra depending on how the cement enters it.
What happens after the procedure?
Once you go through a vertebroplasty treatment you have to do certain things like;
- You will probably lie on your back for 1 hour while the cement hardens.
- You will likely remain in an observation room for an additional 1 to 2 hours.
- You may experience pain relief immediately after the procedure, but it may take up to 72 hours. Your doctor can provide you with over-the-counter pain relievers for the temporary discomfort.
- Your doctor will assess your pain and check for any possible complications.
- You may need to continue wearing a back brace, but it’s usually unnecessary.
- You will come back for a follow-up appointment in a few weeks
Risks associated with vertebroplasty
Vertebroplasty treatment is generally well tolerated, with usually minor complications and occurring at a rate of 1 percent to 3 percent. But patients can face some risks such as:
- Blood loss
- Fractures of ribs or any other nearby bones
- Nerve root irritation
- Cement flowing outside of the bone before it get hardens
Vertebroplasty treatment can worsen the pain for a few hours while the cement cures, but that rarely happen and if it happens that it does not last long. You might face other risks too depending on your specific condition, so talking to your doctor beforehand about any concerns is good.
Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.
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