What is it?
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used for compression fractures in the vertebrae (the small bones that make up the spinal column), usually caused by osteoporosis. Using x-ray guidance, a special cement mixture is guided through a hollow needle into the fractured bone, which strengthens the spinal bones making them less likely to fracture again and providing pain relief. This procedure may also restore some of the compressed height of the vertebrae.
What are the expected results?
Pain relief may be immediate for some patients. In others, pain is eliminated or reduced within two days.
How long will it take?
The procedure itself takes approximately 60 minutes, but you may be observed for 30-60 minutes after the procedure.
After the procedure
Most often you can go home in about 30-60 minutes. Written instructions will be sent home with you. You will need someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 24 hours after the procedure, as bed rest is recommended during this time.
What to expect the day of your procedure?
You are expected to arrive at the surgery center at least one hour before your procedure is scheduled. Bring a responsible adult driver with you because you may be receiving medications that could impair your ability to drive. Unless you are certain you will not be receiving sedation, do not eat anything for 6 hours prior to your procedure; you may have modest amounts of clear liquids (liquids you can see through) up to 4 hours beforehand. Please take your regularly scheduled blood pressure and heart medications with a sip of water as you normally would. If you have diabetes, take half of your normal dosage and bring your insulin with you.
After you arrive, you will be asked to sign-in and complete any paperwork as needed. You will then be taken to the preoperative area. At this time, a nurse will ask you some medical questions and have you sign your consent forms. It is imperative that you, the patient, inform the assistant of any changes in your history and/or physical, such as recent flu or any health problems that might affect your procedure. Inform the staff of any allergies, especially to Betadine or Iodine.
You will be asked to change into a gown. An assistant will take your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation. An IV may be ordered by your physician in order to provide pain relief and relaxation.
The anesthesiologist, physician, or nurse will talk to you before your procedure. You will then be positioned and the injection site will be cleaned. The pain management physician will perform the procedure. You may be administered medication before and/or during your procedure to help you relax and provide pain relief. You may doze off during this time. Afterward, the cleaning solution will be washed off and bandages will be applied as needed.
You will be transported to the recovery room area where you will be monitored anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. You will be offered beverages and some crackers. After this, someone will take out your IV and help you get dressed if needed. Lastly, your caregiver will be given discharge instructions for your care at home.