Vertebral compression fractures can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and reduced quality of life. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers the vertebroplasty procedure in Kingsland and Brunswick, GA to stabilize the painful fracture.
What is Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is a type of vertebral augmentation procedure that stabilizes a painful compression fracture in the spine. Compression fractures are often caused by osteoporosis. This procedure is considered minimally invasive, as it can be performed through a tiny puncture instead of an incision.
During vertebroplasty, bone cement will be injected into broken or cracked vertebrae. As the cement hardens, it stabilizes the fracture to support the spine. This procedure can offer significant pain relief and improve mobility in people with severe compression fracture pain.
What Causes Vertebral Compression Fractures?
A vertebral compression fracture happens when the vertebra is unable to support weight and collapses, causing tiny cracks or fractures to form. The front of the vertebra is usually the first to compress and causes the vertebra to develop a wedge shape. Compression fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis in older people but they can be caused by high-impact trauma to the back or, more rarely, bone cancer.
How is the Vertebroplasty Procedure Performed?
The vertebroplasty procedure begins with the patient lying face down. The target area of the back will be sterilized and local anesthetic plus light sedation are administered. You will remain responsive and awake but feel no pain in the treatment area. Fluoroscopy is used to allow your surgeon to track their progress with an x-ray in real-time as a needle is carefully guided into the damaged vertebra through a puncture. This allows your physician to place the needle precisely inside the compression fracture without causing damage to any surrounding structures.
A type of bone cement called PMMA will be injected directly into the fracture to fill the cracks in the bone. This works like an internal cast to stabilize the bone. It takes the bone cement about 10 minutes to harden.
You will be kept under observation after your procedure until the anesthetic and sedatives wear off and the cement has hardened without complications. You will be able to go home the same day as your procedure although you should have a friend drive you home.
Who is a Candidate for Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty is considered an effective, safe procedure to repair vertebral compression fractures among elderly patients. The procedure offers near-immediate pain relief in addition to early mobilization to reduce the risk of serious complications associated with chronic back pain and bed rest.
If you are dealing with severe pain from a compression fracture of the vertebra, the best way to find out if you’re a candidate for vertebroplasty is by scheduling a consultation with the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia to learn more.
What is Recovery Like After Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty recovery time is typically very short. You can return home the same day but bed rest or very light activity is recommended for the first 24 hours. You may gradually increase activity levels as you feel better. An ice pack can be used to ease the tenderness you may experience at the injection site for the first few days.
Most people have pain relief within 24 to 72 hours of the vertebroplasty procedure in Brunswick.
If you have been diagnosed with or suspect a vertebral compression fracture, the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia is here to help you recover and treat your pain. The vertebroplasty procedure is available to men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland to stabilize the compression fracture with minimal recovery.