Vertebroplasty is a minimally-invasive vertebral augmentation procedure used to treat spinal fractures. The procedures involves injecting a special type of bone cement directly into a damaged vertebra. A doctor will numb the area using general or localized anesthesia, then use a long needle to inject the paste-like bone cement into the affected bone. The cement hardens quickly and creates a type of internal cast, stabilizing the fractured bone.
Osteoporosis and cancer: top causes of spinal fractures
Many older adults will experience a gradual decrease in bone density as they age, making their bones more brittle and likely to break. This condition, known as osteoporosis, affects women more than men and can lead to painful fractures in the spine. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are in many cases an effective treatment to relieve pain and prevent further injury associated with osteoporosis.
In addition, these two procedures may be used as part of cancer therapy as certain cancers can spread bone metastasis that may also affect the spine. If cancer metastasizes and infiltrates the vertebrae, it can weaken the bone and result in instability and fractures in the spine. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can also be used to treat spinal fractures related to cancer.
Spinal fractures due to osteoporosis and cancer usually occur on the lower thoracic and lumbar spine.
How effective is vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty usually results in immediate pain relief, stabilization of the vertebral body and instant mobilization of the patient. Patients are often ready to go home on the same day or after a single night in the hospital. A speedy recovery is especially important for older osteoporosis patients because staying physically active can slow the further progression of osteoporosis.
Complications from vertebroplasty are rare, but the most common problem is cement leaking into other areas of the spine. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and have small risks of bleeding and nerve damage.
How we can help
Premier Healthcare has partnerships with some of Germany’s top orthopedic centers and spine specialists who can help diagnose and treat your back pain. Contact us to learn more about back pain treatments in Germany.