Medical Definition of Vertebroplasty

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Vertebroplasty: A nonsurgical method for repairing osteoporosis back fractures, such as vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty is performed by a radiologist, without surgery, and involves inserting a glue-like material into the center of the collapsed spinal vertebra to stabilize and strengthen the crushed bone. The material is inserted through anesthetized skin with a needle and syringe, entering the midportion of the vertebra under the guidance of specialized X-ray equipment. Once inserted, the material hardens to form a cast-like structure within the broken bone. Relief of pain comes quickly from this casting effect, and the newly hardened vertebra is then protected from further collapse. In addition to prompt pain relief, another advantage of vertebroplasty is improved mobility. Also referred to as kyphoplasty.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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