Vertebroplasty is the procedure which involves the injection of bone cement into the fractured vertebra of a patient, through a small puncture in the skin created with a percutaneous surgical procedure. This procedure is carried out to help relieve back pain resulting from compression fractures. This is an outpatient procedure and takes something close to an hour to get completed.
Any patient taking vertebroplasty is first given anesthesia which can either be local or general. A local anesthesia may numb the area it gets injected within while keeping the patient conscious, whereas general anesthesia may make the person fall asleep or unconscious. The patient has to lie in a face down position and then a needle is inserted into the fractured vertebra. X-ray images may be brought into use when guiding the injection within the vertebra. The bone cement is next injected into the fractured vertebra. The bone cement gets stiff in about 10 minutes and acts as an internal cast, stabilizing the broken vertebra.
Vertebroplasty should be considered by patients for whom the conservative treatments did not prove effective. This procedure has benefits like back braces, is an effective physical therapy, and also helps relieve the pain.
It however does not seem to help in fractures related to osteoporosis.
The risks involved with vertebroplasty are: –
- Reaction to the medication
- Leakage of the bone cement
- Nerve damage
A vertebral bone fracture can easily become a painful hindrance in anybody’s daily life. A person must therefore see a doctor if there has been prolonged pain in the back. A vertebral fracture could turn into more complex issue like kyphosis. Hence, proper checkup and care are a must in this regard.
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