What is percutaneous vertebroplasty?
Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) is a procedure used to treat and stabilize vertebral (spinal) fractures. The process involves using a type of imaging called fluoroscopy, which provides X-rays in real time, to enable a doctor to inject a concrete-like fast-setting polymer into the damaged vertebrae.
A procedure called kyphoplasty often accompanies vertebroplasty. Kyphoplasty is the insertion and inflation of a balloon in the vertebrae before the cement delivery. This helps to repair loss of height in fractured vertebrae and restore alignment.
The doctor may use a SpineJack kyphoplasty system, which uses titanium implants in the bone that work together in the bone with the cement-like polymer to create a more stable outcome, reduce post-procedure pain, and better restore vertebral body height.
What is percutaneous vertebroplasty used for?
Percutaneous vertebroplasty is used to:
- Treat pain in vertebral (spinal) compression fractures
- Women have a 16% lifetime risk of getting a vertebral compression fracture, due to the higher risk of osteoporosis in women (men’s lifetime risk is 5%)
- Treat collapsed vertebrae from osteoporosis
- Treat spinal damage due to certain cancers and spinal tumors
- Stabilize weakened vertebrae prior to surgery
- Help repair alignment of vertebrae due to kyphosis
- Pain from vertebral hemangioma
How do doctors perform percutaneous vertebroplasty?
Before the vertebroplasty is performed, the doctor will formulate a plan to best treat the damaged vertebrae. This may include:
- Medical history and physical exam
- CT scans
- MRI of the spine
- Blood tests
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Chemistry panel
- Coagulation panel (PT/PTT)
The actual vertebroplasty procedure may last between 30 minutes to two hours.
- Patient is placed in the prone position (face down)
- The area of the back around the damaged vertebrae is cleansed thoroughly with antiseptics to prevent infection
- Anesthesia is administered for conscious sedation
- Local anesthesia (such as lidocaine with epinephrine) is placed in the back at the level of the damaged vertebrae using a needle
- X-rays are performed using fluoroscopy to ensure proper localization of the damaged vertebrae and to guide placement of the cement compound
After the procedure
- Patients are put on bed rest for up to 2 hours
- Pain medications may be given
- Muscle relaxants may be given for muscle spasms
- Patients receive detailed follow-up instructions
- Patients are usually discharged the same day with a family member or friend who can help them after the procedure.
What are Risks and Complications of Percutaneous Vertebroplasty?
Complications from vertebroplasty are usually minimal and only occur in 1% to 10% of cases.
Possible complications may include:
- Infection in the skin or vertebrae
- Worsening of spinal fracture, especially when the original fracture is due to cancer
- Damage to spinal cord or adjacent nerves
- Allergic reaction to anesthetic or cement-like compound
- Collapsed lung
- Cement migration – cement compound leaks into surrounding tissues or bloodstream
- AHA News: This Tick Season, Beware the Tiny Bugs That Can Carry Lyme Disease – a Danger to the Heart
- Ticks Can Take a Licking From Really Tough Weather
- Drug Might Help Slow Nearsightedness in Kids
- Does Your Kid Need a Summer Vacation From Smartphones?
- Get in the Swim: Summer Pool Safety Tips
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Are the Risks of Vertebroplasty? Related Articles
Kyphosis (Roundback)Kyphosis is an outward curvature of the thoracic spine (upper back). Kyphosis results in the appearance of a hunchback, which is accompanied by back pain, stiffness, and muscle fatigue in the back. There are three types of abnormal kyphosis: postural, Scheuermann's, and congenital kyphosis.
Lower Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis, and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Lumbar LordosisLumbar lordosis or "swayback," lower back curvature), in children, adults, and women who are pregnant is an abnormal posture with a low back curve. Symptoms of lumbar lordosis in include lower back pain and discomfort, difficulty in moving certain directions due to back pain, and a large gap or arch between the lower back and a flat surface when you lay down.
Common causes of lumbar lordosis in children, adults, and during pregnancy include obesity, kyphosis, bad posture, genetics, and other disorders of the spine. Treatment for lumbar lordosis include exercise, weight loss, surgery, and pain medication. Lumbar lordosis can be reversed and cured; however, it depends on how severe the symptoms are. Lumbar lordosis treatments may help reduce pain and other symptoms or Mild lordosis in children may be cured without treatment, while severe lumbar lordosis needs surgery to fix. Lumbar lordosis can be reversed "cured" or go back to normal or near normal.
Lumbar Spinal StenosisLumbar stenosis can be caused by degenerative arthritis (the most common cause), tumor, infection, or metabolic disorders (Paget's disease of the bone). Symptoms include low back pain, weakness, pain, numbness, and loss of sensation in the legs. Other conditions may cause similar symptoms of lumbar stenosis, including diabetic neuropathy, claudication, and peripheral vascular disease. Lumbar stenosis may be treated with medication or surgery.
Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis Differences and SimilaritiesArthritis is defined as painful inflammation and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis and the most common cause of chronic joint pain, affecting over 25 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that involves the entire joint. Osteoporosis is not a type of arthritis. It is a disease that mainly is caused by a loss of bone tissue that is not limited to the joint areas. It is possible for one person to have both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The differences in the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis include; pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, joint deformity, crackle sounds when the joint is moving, and walking with a limp. Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease" because it can progress for years without signs and symptoms before it is diagnosed, severe back pain, bone fractures, height loss, and difficulty or inability to walk. The differences in the causes of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are that osteoarthritis usually is caused by wear and tear on the joints. Osteoporosis usually is caused by one or more underlying problems, for example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Treatment for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not the same. There is no cure for osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
OsteoporosisOsteoporosis is a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone fracture. Unless one experiences a fracture, a person may have osteoporosis for decades without knowing it. Treatment for osteoporosis may involve medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength and bone formation, as well as quitting smoking, regular exercise, cutting back on alcohol intake, and eating a calcium- and vitamin D-rich balanced diet.
Osteoporosis PictureThinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. See a picture of Osteoporosis and learn more about the health topic.
Osteoporosis SlideshowOsteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and density. Osteoporosis causes symptoms of weak, thin, fragile bones. Learn the treatments and medications used to fight osteoporosis, as well as prevention tips.
Osteoporosis QuizWhat are the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of osteoporosis? Quiz yourself about vitamin deficiency, maintaining bone density, and preventing osteoporosis-related fractures.
Spinal Cord Injury: Treatments and RehabilitationWhen vertebrae are broken or dislocated, the result can cause traumatic injury to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can have significant physiological consequences. One indication of the severity of a spinal cord injury are respiratory complications. Spinal cord injuries are classified as either. Rehabilitation and recovery of a spinal cord injury is dependant upon the type of injury.
Super Foods for Your BonesWhat sweetener is loaded with calcium? These bone-building super foods can help stave off osteoporosis, and many of them will surprise you.