- In vertebroplasty, an acrylic cement is injected into a fractured and collapsed vertebra (spinal bone). The cement strengthens the bone and decreases pain from the fracture.
- In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to create a cavity to inject the cement into. This procedure is designed to relieve pain. It can also improve spinal deformities from the fractures.
Reasons for Procedure
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- Leakage of the cement into the spinal canal or into adjacent veins
- Increased back pain
- Fracture of adjacent vertebra or ribs
- Numbness, tingling
- Vertebral fractures that extend into the spinal canal area
- Radiculopathy—irritation of a nerve root in the area of the fracture that often causes areas of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg
- Bleeding disorders
- Unusually soft or porous bones
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- You will receive a complete physical exam and blood tests.
- You will have imaging studies of your back to identify the nature of the fracture, such as:
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
- You will need to stop eating at least 6 hours prior to the procedure. Stop drinking fluids about 3-6 hours prior to the procedure.
- Most are done using only IV sedation and local anesthesia. The sedation will help you relax. The local will numb the area above the fractured bone.
- In some cases, general anesthesia may be used. You will be asleep.
Description of Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site or the needle insertion site
- Severe back or rib pain
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- New numbness, tingling, or weakness
American College of Radiology http://www.acr.org
American Society of Neuroradiology http://www.asnr.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America http://www.radiologyinfo.org
Predey TA, Sewall LE, et al. Percutaneous vertebroplasty: New treatment for vertebral compression fractures. Am Fam Physician. 2002; 6: 611-615.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=vertebro. Accessed July 1, 2007.
Vertebroplasty for spine fracture pain. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/drugs-procedures-devices/procedures-devices/vertebroplasty-for-spine-fracture-pain.html. Accessed July 1, 2007.
11/9/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Buchbinder R, Osborne RH, et al. A randomized trial of vertebroplasty for painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(6):557-568.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -