Vertebroplasty

Posted June, 2008

Vertebroplasty is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure we can use to treat the pain of vertebral compression fractures. These are often caused by osteoporosis or metastatic tumors. Previously, there was little to be done for such conditions beyond aggressive treatment with painkillers.

With the onset of osteoporosis or attack by tumors, the bone itself is compromised by the loss of tissue and thus becomes structurally unsound. It can collapse, putting pressure on the spinal cord or other nerves in the vicinity. This can cause extremely debilitating pain.

Vertebroplasty can actually reinforce the bone's structure. In effect the injected material will replace the missing bone matter by refilling the open areas of the fracture or porous areas. The bone stops collapsing, and this can greatly relieve nervous tissue compression and the subsequent pain.

During this innovative procedure, the doctor will insert one or two bone biopsy needles into the collapsed vertebra through a small incision in the patient's back. Then he'll inject a specially-formulated acrylic material into the bone. Once the acrylic "cures" it acts to stabilize the fracture zone.

The procedure typically requires only a local anesthetic. Some patients may require general sedation, depending on several other factors.

This new procedure can provide very effective relief from the pain of spinal fractures. We're excited to be able to offer this new process to our patients at Robb Pain Management Group.

If you'd like to read more about this new procedure, visit: www.vertebroplasty.com.