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What is vertebroplasty?

The vertebroplasty procedure, offered by our surgeons at NeuroSpine Plus, is a specialized procedure utilized to alleviate pain associated with compression fractures by injecting cement into the affected vertebral body. Through the expertise at NeuroSpine Plus, the vertebroplasty procedure successfully mitigates the risk of the development of kyphotic spinal curvature, or the forward ‘hunch’, commonly observed in the elderly population. During the procedure the structural integrity and height of the spinal bones are restored, helping maintain a healthy spine.

Patients receiving vertebroplasty at NeuroSpine Plus can expect a treatment that blends surgical precision with comprehensive care, aimed at preserving their spinal health and overall well-being.

Although many compression fractures may not exhibit symptoms and require no intervention, persistent or severe pain can be effectively addressed with a vertebroplasty. At NeuroSpine Plus, our team of dedicated professionals is committed to providing unique and personalized solutions for optimal spinal health.


What conditions are treated with a vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty provides a reliable solution for alleviating pain caused by compression fractures of the spine. Osteoporosis is frequently the culprit behind weakened vertebrae that can fracture under stress. Other mechanisms of injury can include motor vehicle accidents, traumatic falls, or the presence of cancer in the spine. This compression of the bone structure can bring about significant discomfort, and potential nerve impairment. In addition, as discussed above, may lead to kyphotic curvature of the spine. Vertebroplasty procedures performed by our surgeons at NeuroSpine Plus aim to maintain, or even restore the vertebral height, if possible. Not only can this process alleviate the intense pain associated with such injuries, but it can also contribute to a more fortified and upright spinal posture.

Our healthcare practitioners at NeuroSpine Plus typically reserve vertebroplasty for patients who have not found sufficient relief through more conservative treatments. These initial approaches include bracing, activity modification, and a regimen of pain medications, typically extending over a period of 6 to 12 weeks. It is important to note that many vertebral fractures can heal without the necessity of vertebroplasty.

How is a vertebroplasty performed?

Prior to your vertebroplasty, a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted by our specialists, which may include blood tests and advanced imaging techniques like X-ray or MRI scans to accurately pinpoint the fracture locations. Before the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia by a trained anesthesiologist. You will be completely asleep before the procedure begins. Once you are anesthetized, our team of experienced neurosurgeons and physician assistants will perform the following procedure:

  • Utilizing the precision of X-ray imaging, our surgeons will carefully insert a needle through the soft tissue and into the affected vertebral bone.
  • A specially formulated medical cement mixture is meticulously injected into the affected vertebral body through the needle, restoring the structural integrity and height of the spinal bones.
  • The entire procedure is conducted with serial live X-ray imaging technology to ensure optimal placement.
  • Once the process is complete, the small incision sites are closed with dissolvable sutures and covered with a dry sterile dressing.

What to expect following a vertebroplasty

ollowing your vertebroplasty procedure, you will be transferred into a recovery area where you will be monitored closely. This procedure is typically performed ‘outpatient’, meaning you will likely go home the same day. Depending on the complexity of your surgery, medical history, and comfort level postoperatively, you may require admission for overnight observation. 

Typically, patients can begin walking within an hour post-procedure, with assistance. While you might experience mild discomfort at the needle insertion site in your back, this sensation is generally short-lived, subsiding within days. Notably, many individuals report a significant reduction in pain shortly after their surgery.

It is essential to discuss postoperative activities with your doctor to ascertain which, if any, should be temporarily avoided in the interest of optimal recovery.

At NeuroSpine Plus, we are committed to ensuring you are well informed and prepared for a smooth recovery process.

Your postoperative healing progress will be closely overseen by our team of providers, ensuring a routine recovery. A member of our team will contact you within the first 48 hours of your procedure to monitor your progress. Your initial post operative appointment will be scheduled within two weeks of your surgical date. A member of our team is always available to answer questions or address your concerns during your recovery period.

General postoperative recommendations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Use of postoperative pain medications as prescribed
  • Over-the-counter Tylenol for pain
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments
  • Do not use NSAIDs until cleared by your surgeon (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, etc)
  • Incision care to include washing your incision with gentle antibacterial soap 48 hours after your procedure. No scrubbing, submerging, or soaking the incision(s). No lotions, creams, oils, or ointments atop the incision(s).

When to contact your doctor's office following a vertebroplasty

If you have concerns during your postoperative period to include, but not limited to the following: 

  • High fever greater than 100.4F
  • Change in urinary or bowel habits
  • Swelling or discoloration of one or both calves
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Incisional compromise
  • Loss of strength in your arms or legs

If you have a question regarding your initial postoperative period, a member of our team is always available to answer and address your concerns at 201-399-3388.

Vertebroplasty FAQs:

At NeuroSpine Plus, we encourage an active recovery, with many patients walking up to two miles within the first two weeks following their procedure. After a vertebroplasty, it’s essential you follow your doctor’s instructions for a smooth and safe recovery. 

A member of our team is always available to answer and address your concerns at 201-399-3388.

All surgical procedures have an inherent level of risk associated with them. With the kyphoplasty procedure performed by our board-certified neurosurgeons, the risks are rare. All risks and benefits associated with undergoing a vertebroplasty are discussed at length with our board-certified neurosurgeons prior to proceeding with your procedure.

If you believe you may be a candidate for a kyphoplasty procedure, call our office today to book your consultation at 201-399-3388.

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