If you are suffering pain from a compression fracture, an outpatient procedure can not only relieve your discomfort but can also help you regain mobility. This minimally invasive operation can aid in restoring your quality of life.
The procedure is vertebroplasty and stabilizes the vertebrae with cement. A skilled doctor can discuss Dunedin vertebroplasty with you and help determine whether you are a candidate. Call and schedule an appointment with a compassionate spine surgeon to start discussing your potential medical options.
What is Vertebroplasty?
Vertebroplasty, also known as percutaneous vertebroplasty, is a procedure where a small incision is made in a patient’s back and a needle is injected into the fractured vertebrae, filling the spaces within the bone with cement. The cement serves to stabilize the bone.
The entire procedure takes approximately one hour to perform, and patients generally can go home the same day. However, they generally must have someone else drive them home.
Candidates in Dunedin
Spinal compression fractures are most often due to osteoporosis, or the thinning and weakening of the bones. Weak spinal vertebrae may fracture and collapse, resulting in serious pain. Therefore, those with osteoporosis may be candidates for vertebroplasty in Dunedin.
However, not every person with a spinal fracture is a candidate for vertebroplasty. Most patients will need to undergo conservative treatment first. If that does not relieve pain after six weeks or more, vertebroplasty may be considered.
If the patient is battling an active infection, the procedure cannot be performed until the infection heals. Finally, if the fracture affects the surrounding structures, that person is probably not a vertebroplasty candidate.
The Treatment Procedure
The doctor performs a physical examination and takes a complete medical history. They may order an X-ray to view the spine, along with either an MRI or CT scan to see the soft tissue in the area of the spinal fracture. If herniated discs or other back issues are revealed, vertebroplasty may not prove the best type of treatment.
When it comes to vertebroplasty, more recent fractures tend to have a better outcome than older fractures. However, that does not mean an older fracture is untreatable. The doctor will explain whether a particular condition makes someone a vertebroplasty candidate.
The actual vertebroplasty procedure is fairly straightforward. The patient receives either sedation or is given general anesthesia, based primarily on pain levels. Then, using fluoroscopy for needle guidance into the vertebrae, the doctor injects the bone cement into the vertebrae.
The patient must then remain on their back for at least an hour while the cement hardens. Most patients experience immediate pain relief after vertebroplasty. However, some may need to wear a back brace for a while post-vertebroplasty.
Risks Associated with Vertebroplasty
Most patients go through vertebroplasty without experiencing any side effects, but complications are possible with any procedure. A small number of vertebroplasty patients may experience:
- Blood loss
- Irritation of nerve roots
- Cement exiting the bone before hardening
In rare instances, the procedure may result in the fracture of nearby ribs or other bones. After the procedure, the patient should rest for a few days, and then gradually resume normal activities to avoid any complications.
A Vertebroplasty Doctor in Dunedin Can Provide Answers
If you have a spinal compression fracture and would like to know whether vertebroplasty would ease your pain, contact an experienced Dunedin doctor. Call the office today to arrange a consultation. The doctor explains the procedure in detail so you can make an informed decision.