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What you should know
Vertebroplasty is a procedure to fix broken vertebrae. Vertebrae are the round, strong bones that form your spine.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
Your nerves and spinal cord may be damaged during surgery. Spinal cord damage may cause you to leak spinal fluid, and you may become paralyzed. Nearby vertebrae or bones, such as the ribs, may get fractured. After your procedure, you may have bruising, increased pain, and you may get an infection. Cement may leak into your spinal cord, kidneys, and blood vessels. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- You may need a spinal x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or a bone scan. You also may need blood tests before your procedure. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
The night before your procedure:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- A small incision may be made over your broken vertebrae where a needle will be inserted. Your healthcare provider may use only the needle to reach your broken vertebrae. Dye may be given through the needle to do a venography. Venography shows the veins around your vertebrae, and helps your healthcare provider plan where to inject the cement.
- Cement is then injected through the needle into your vertebrae to fill the broken or cracked area. After the cement is injected, the needle is removed. If an incision was made in your back, it will be closed with stitches. A bandage may be placed over the area where your procedure was done. Your healthcare provider may do an x-ray or CT scan to check for any cement leaks.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have worsening pain that travels to your legs.
- You have increased trouble walking or moving around.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You are unable to move one or both of your legs.
- You have pain in your rib area or lower back.
- You have sudden shortness of breath or chest pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.