Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that involves an injection of bone cement through a small hole in the skin into a fractured vertebra. It is a type of vertebral augmentation surgery. Watch: Vertebroplasty Interactive Video.

The goals of the vertebroplasty surgical procedure are to stabilize the spinal fracture and to stop the pain caused by the fracture. Vertebroplasty is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure because the procedure is done through a small puncture in the patient's skin (as opposed to an open incision). A typical vertebroplasty procedure, described below, usually takes about 1 hour to complete.

  • The patient is treated with local anesthesia and light sedation, usually in an x-ray suite or operating room on an outpatient basis.
  • A biopsy needle is guided into the fractured vertebra under X-ray guidance through a small puncture in the patient's skin Specially formulated acrylic bone cement is injected under pressure directly into the fractured vertebra, filling the spaces within the bone - with the goal of creating a type of internal cast (a cast within the vertebra) to stabilize the vertebral bone. The needle is removed and the cement hardens quickly (about 10 minutes), congealing the fragments of the fractured vertebra and stabilizing the bone.
  • The small skin puncture is covered with a bandage.


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