WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is a procedure to fix broken vertebrae. Vertebrae are the round, strong bones that form your spine.
How do I prepare for vertebroplasty?
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for this procedure. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
What will happen during vertebroplasty?
- 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.
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.