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Spine Surgery Guide


How does the procedure work?

Vertebroplasty involves injecting a special cement mixture into the small holes in weakened vertebrae to strengthen the spinal bones making them less likely to fracture again and providing pain relief.

Using image-guidance, a hollow needle called a trocar is passed through the skin into the spinal bone and a cement mixture is then injected into the vertebra. In kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted through the tube and into the fractured vertebra where it is inflated to push the bone back to its normal height and shape. The balloon is then removed and the cement is inserted into the cavity created by the balloon.

How is the procedure performed?

Image-guided, minimally invasive procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are most often performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist in an interventional radiology suite or occasionally in the operating room.

This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis. However, some procedures may require admission. Please consult with your physician. You will be positioned lying face down for the procedure. You will be connected to monitors that track your heart rate, blood pressure and pulse during the procedure.

A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm so that sedative medication can be given intravenously. You may also receive general anesthesia.

You may be given medications to help prevent nausea and pain, and antibiotics to help prevent infection.

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The area where the hollow needle will be inserted will be shaved, sterilized and covered with a surgical drape.

A local anesthetic will be injected into the muscles near the site of the fracture. A very small nick is made in the skin at the site.

Using x-ray guidance, a hollow needle called a trocar is passed through the spinal muscles until its tip is precisely positioned within the fractured vertebra. An examination called intraosseous venography may be performed by some interventional radiologists to make sure the needle has reached a safe spot within the fractured bone. However, most interventional radiologists do not believe in the value of the intraosseous venography and prefer to proceed with vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty directly.

In vertebroplasty, the orthopedic cement is then injected. Medical-grade cement hardens quickly, typically within 20 minutes.

In kyphoplasty, the balloon tamp is first inserted through the needle and inflated, pushing the bone back to its normal height and shape and creating a hole or cavity. The balloon is then removed and the bone cement is injected into the cavity created by the balloon. Although it is not a common practice, a CT scan may be performed at the end of the procedure to check the distribution of the cement. The trocar is then removed.

Pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding and the opening in the skin is covered with a bandage. No sutures are needed.

You will remain in the recovery room for an hour following the procedure. Your intravenous line will be removed.

This procedure is usually completed within one hour. It may take longer if more than one vertebra is being treated.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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