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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Vertebroplasty is a procedure to fix broken vertebrae. Vertebrae are the round, strong bones that form your spine.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your procedure:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
- Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
- General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during your procedure. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
- Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into the skin where you will have your procedure. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during your procedure.
During your procedure:
- 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 have to lie flat for about 1 to 2 hours so the cement can harden. 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. Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
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.
CARE AGREEMENT:You 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.
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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.