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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is a procedure to fix broken vertebrae.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for this procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
- Tell your provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
- You may need a spinal x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or a bone scan. You also may need blood tests before your procedure.
What will happen during the procedure?
- Local anesthesia is usually given for this procedure. This medicine is injected into your back to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure.
- A small incision will be made over your broken vertebrae where a needle will be inserted. Your healthcare provider may insert the needle directly into your skin to reach your broken vertebrae. 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 leaks.
What should I expect after the 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.
- You will lie flat until the cement fully hardens.
- Medicine may be given to prevent or relieve pain.
What are the risks of vertebroplasty?
Your nerves and spinal cord may be damaged. 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.
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