Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that is extremely effective for vertebral compression fractures. Compression fractures in the spine are very common in those who have osteoporosis, which is a condition of decreasing bone density as a person ages. Most commonly osteoporosis becomes accelerated after menopause due to hormonal deficiencies.
The fractures that occur come from everyday life occurrences such as getting it out of a car or a sneeze, or something trivial with the bone simply not being able to handle the stresses of these regular activities anymore. When a person has a compression fracture, he or she may not even know it if no symptoms are present. This is actually fairly common.
If symptoms are present, a person usually has aching or maybe even a sharp pain in the back around the area of the fracture. Muscle spasms are often present in a response to try and stabilize the broken bones just like if the person had a broken arm or leg in those areas.
Compression fractures are also common in the mid back along with the lumbar spine, and a person may have pain that wraps around their flank or into their rib cage due to irritation of the intercostal nerves in the area.
Traditionally, the only treatment that really existed for compression fractures was either a spinal brace along with pain medication. In the early 1990s, the vertebroplasty procedure was invented initially for the treatment of cancer related compression fractures.
As mentioned, the procedure is performed as an outpatient and involves insertion of bone cement into the fracture for an immediate stabilization. Doctors who routinely perform this procedure include pain management Mesa AZ doctors, interventional radiologists, and spine surgeons.
During the procedure, the patient is given either deep IV sedation or general anesthesia and placed on his or her stomach with extensive padding. The doctor uses the fluoroscopy machine to safely place a trocar, and then a catheter into either side of the fracture taking special care to avoid the spinal canal.
Once the appropriate positioning has been reached, the next that is to inject the bone cement into the fracture. It contains contrast dye so that the doctor can see where the cement is being injected.
The obvious concern with the procedure is if the cement leaks out from the vertebral compression fracture. Due to the fact that the cement goes in as a liquid type format, there is a significant percentage of the time that this occurs.
The vast majority of the time, this cement leakage presents no problems. In rare circumstances, cement can end up around a nerve root or the spinal cord and cause a
Once the cement hardens in 10 to 20 minutes, the procedure is complete, and the pain relief is typically immediate after the patient wakes up. There may still be some residual muscle spasms for a few weeks afterwards.
Results from the procedure have been impressive. Most studies show between 85 and 95% pain reduction right afterwards. There were some recent studies which doubted the efficacy of the procedure, and both of them were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Both studies have been heavily criticized by medical professionals for some of the methods used.
If you or a loved one is suffering from mid or low back pain due to a compression fracture, let Arizona Pain Specialists help you.
They have Board-Certified Been Fellowship Trained pain management doctors in Arizona at multiple AZ pain clinics who have performed thousands of compression fracture procedures with vertebroplasty.
Call today at 602-507-6550 to make an appointment at one of Arizona Pain’s multiple pain clinics in Phoenix locations.