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What is a Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty?
Your healthcare provider has requested that you undergo a pain treatment procedure called a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. You've had an exam that has determined that the source of your pain is the result of a recent compression fracture in your back. A vertebroplasty stabilizes the collapsed bone with an injection of medical-grade bone cement to relieve pain. A kyphoplasty involves first inflating a balloon within the compressed bone and injecting a bone cement to help maintain its normal height and relieve pain.
How Should I Prepare?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed and speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time. If this is an outpatient procedure, you will need to arrange for a ride home from a responsible adult.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by an interventional radiologist, who is a physician with specific training in image-guided procedures. Intravenous medications will be given to make you more comfortable, which is known as conscious sedation. During a vertebroplasty, you will lie on your stomach, and one or two small needles will be placed in your back. Imaging (x-rays) will be used to guide the needle towards the fracture. A small amount of medical grade cement will then be injected to stabilize the fracture.
A kyphoplasty involves placing a specialized balloon inside of the compressed fracture. The balloon is inflated to help restore the compressed bone to its normal height. The balloon is then deflated, removed, and a special cement is injected into the space for stabilization.
What should I expect after the procedure?
You should be able to walk about one hour after the procedure. A follow up visit is often scheduled for evaluation and to determine the success of the procedure.
Who Interprets the Results?
The interventional radiologist can advise you on whether the procedure was a technical success following the procedure.