Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute - Health Library
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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

VertebroplastyVertebroplastia

Vertebroplasty

Fractures in the bones of the spine (vertebrae) can cause severe back pain and loss of movement. Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a type of surgical cement is injected into the fractured vertebrae. This can make the spine more stable and relieve back pain. The procedure is often done by a specially trained doctor called an interventional radiologist.

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Before the Procedure

Follow any instructions you are given on how to prepare, including:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.

  • Tell your radiologist what medications, herbs, or supplements you take; if you are, or may be, pregnant; or if you are allergic to contrast medium (x-ray dye) or other medications.

During the Procedure

  • You will change into a hospital gown and lie face down on an x-ray table.

  • An IV (intravenous) line is started to give you fluids and medications. You may be given medication through the IV to help you relax and make you feel sleepy.

  • A local anesthetic will be injected into the back to numb the area. Then, a needle is inserted into the back.

  • Contrast medium will be injected into the area. This helps show the needle and vertebrae clearly on x-rays. Using video x-ray images as a guide, the radiologist moves the needle to the vertebra to be treated.

  • A cement-like plastic material is injected into the vertebra. The procedure is repeated on other vertebrae if necessary.

  • The entire procedure may take several hours, depending on how many vertebrae are being treated.

After the Procedure

  • You will be asked to lie flat for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure while the cement hardens.

  • You will most likely be able to go home within a few hours. Or you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.

  • You may feel an ache at the puncture sites for the next 24 hours. To ease this pain, use ice or pain medications as directed.

  • Drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast medium from your system.

  • You may be able to go back to your normal activities in about a day.

Potential Risks and Complications

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Rib or vertebral fracture

  • Irritation of nearby nerves

  • Worsening of pain

  • Problems due to contrast medium, including allergic reaction or kidney damage

  • Leakage of cement, requiring surgery to remove it (very rare)

  • Spinal cord damage (very rare)

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2003-04-02T14:36:29-06:00

Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.

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For your orthopedic needs, contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 . For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation. We...
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