Vertebroplasty is a procedure that aids in stabilizing spinal fracture. This stabilization will result to relief of fracture-induced pain. This procedure targets the spine through a puncture rather than complete incision, but done with a local anesthesia and sedatives.
What are the major indicators for having Vertebroplasty?
Spinal fracture is the main reason why a patient may need to undergo vertebroplasty. This facture causes pain and limited functionality. However, this procedure may only be recommended for specific patients and not for everyone. Failing to respond well with traditional fracture treatment can make a patient a candidate for this procedure. Chronic pain accompanied by immobility is also a good reason for subjecting a patient to vertebroplasty. Finally, this solution may be considered if the patient develops other serious health problems as complication of the fractured vertebra such as fast developing osteoporosis, emotional issues, and respiratory problems.
What does Vertebroplasty entail?
Vertebroplasty is regarded as slightly invasive because the physician needs to work on the affected vertebra using a puncture. The procedure can be completed in an hour. The patient will be subjected to light sedation and local anesthetic. Procedure will be done in an x-ray room. Once sedation and anesthetics take effect, the doctor will insert a biopsy needle to the affected vertebra through the skin while looking at an x-ray guide. This needle has an acrylic bone cement to fill the bone space. This formula will work like a cast, but only applied internally. This cast will dry within 10 minutes after pulling the needle and establish the fractured part. The physician will cover the puncture with a bandage.
How does Vertebroplasty help the doctor provide treatment?
This treatment helps a physician by relieving chronic pain brought by the fracture. It also serves as another option in case other treatments didn’t work for the patient.
What to expect when having Vertebroplasty?
One expectation is that the puncture is slightly invasive, which can make a patient uncomfortable. Pain during the procedure, however, will be minimal with the local anesthetic and sedation. Post-procedure pain may be expected due to the puncture. The physician will also take x-ray images of the affected vertebra and subject the patient to medical history assessment, which will note down whether he has some bleeding problems like hemophilia or currently taking anticoagulants.
What are the risks of having Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty has risks but they rarely occur; chances are around 3 percent only. Common complications include back pain, numbness and tingling, bleeding and infection. In some cases, a patient may experience temporary paralysis. Serious risks include hemorrhaging, nerve root irritation, and fracture on surrounding bones. As for pain that comes after the procedure, reports indicate that patients will only suffer from worsening pain several hours after the procedure, which means it is not as problematic as what people may think.
What are the benefits of having Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty’s benefits include decreasing pain and restoring usual vertebral mobility. This means the patient can return to his usual activity after placing the cast on the affected site. Undergoing the procedure will also prevent fractures that often occur from having an initial problem on the site.
Vertebroplasty Definition – Tests and Procedures – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vertebroplasty/basics/definition/prc-20021308
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Vertebroplasty | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/orthopaedic/vertebroplasty_135,37/