Vertebroplasty Technique

Vertebroplasty Technique | Emory RadiologyThe patient is placed in the prone position on the fluoroscopy table and the skin overlying the fracture is disinfected with cleaning solution and a surgical drape is placed. The soft tissues are anesthetized using local anesthetic and additional sedatives are administered through the IV. Under x-ray guidance a sterile needle is placed through the skin through the pedicle and into the vertebral body. A small amount of x-ray contrast is then injected to demonstrate the drainage pattern of the vertebral body.

The medical grade cement (same as used for orthopaedic surgery) is mixed with barium and antibiotic and injected into the vertebral body under x-ray guidance. The fractured vertebral body is filled as much as possible avoiding leakage of cement into the spinal canal (where the spinal cord resides) in addition to the veins and lungs. The needle is then removed leaving only a small 0.25 inch incision that is bandaged.

Vertebroplasty Technique | Emory RadiologyFollowing placement of the cement, the patient is asked to lay flat in the supine position for one hour to allow the cement to reach maximum hardness. Monitoring in the recovery area is performed for an additional hour prior to discharge home. The patient is asked to keep the dressing dry for 24 hours which can then be removed. Activity at home may be increased as tolerated. Pain relief is often immediate but can take up to 7 days to achieve full therapeutic effect.

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