Vertebroplasty Treatment for Back Pain Relief
What is vertebroplasty?
The treatment of the pain from spinal compression fractures due to osteoporosis has come a long way in the last ten years. Where treatments used to consist only of medication, bracing and bed rest, you now have further options available. If your pain is severe and continues for weeks or months despite initial treatment, you may benefit from a procedure called VERTEBROPLASTY.
For most patients, vertebroplasty provides immediate and lasting relief of the pain related to vertebral compression fractures. With a quick recovery time and a long window of pain relief, vertebroplasty allows many patients to return to their normal activities within a few days and can also, in some cases, prevent further collapse of the vertebra, eight loss and spine curvature.
To find out if vertebroplasty is the best options for you, ask your doctor for referral to an Interventional Radiologist or Neuroradiologist from Mountain Medical Imaging Center. The radiologists of Mountain Medical have provided imaging and interventional services at local hospitals for almost half a century. Our outpatient imaging centers have the ability to bring leading edge techniques, such as vertebroplasty, to the community in a convenient, prompt and professional manner.
What is percutaneous vertebroplasty?
Percutaneous vertebroplasty is an effective treatment for patients suffering from painful spinal compression fractures commonly associated with osteoporosis, tumors or vertebral hemangomas.
Who should be considered for this procedure?
A CT, MRI, x-ray, or bone scan can help to determine whether a patient is a candidate for the procedure. Typically, these individuals are women older than 55 with osteoporosis-induced compression fractures that have not responded to more conservative treatments. The treatment is also available for men with similar fractures and symptoms.
How is the procedure performed?
This is an outpatient procedure that lasts about 40-60 minutes and uses intravenous sedation and local anesthetic. A needle is inserted and x-ray guided into the fractured vertebra through a tiny skin incision. Bone cement is injected into the fractured vertebra to prevent further collapse and relieve pain.
Is the bone cement harmful?
No, the same bone cement has been used in hip and knee replacements for over 30 years. Sterile barium is added to the cement so it can be placed safely within the spine and antibiotics can be used to decrease the risk of infection. Best of all, patients can move normally and will not have any mobility impairment due to the cement.
Will my health insurance play pay for this?
Most insurance policies (including Medicare) will pay for this procedure for those who are diagnosed with vertebral compression fractures.
How long does it take the actual bone cement to harden?
It takes about 15 minutes and the patient goes home the same day, although they should plan to take it easy for a day or two.
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