Vertebroplasty is a process used to treat compression fractures in the spine. Compression fractures are the fractures that are commonly seen in the middle or lower parts of the spine. When a vertebra breaks, it compresses, narrowing the space around your spinal cord. This might cause discomfort. Your doctor will inject an acrylic cement mixture into the damaged vertebra during a vertebroplasty. To ease discomfort, the cement mixture fills in and reinforces the damaged vertebra.
Compression fractures can result in the collapse of the bones of the spine. When this happens, your upper back may acquire an outward curvature, giving you a humped look. In some circumstances, bone fragments might push against the spinal cord.
Below are a few common symptoms of compression fracture:
- Trouble bending or twisting
- Difficulty walking
- Numbness or tingling
- Chronic back pain
- Increased pain intensity while standing
- Decreased mobility or flexibility in spine
- Decreased height
- Hunched-forward posture
- Problems in controlling bladder and bowel
Who is at risk of developing these compression fractures?
Compression fractures are quite prevalent. The occurrence of this condition depends on the people’s age. According to the studies conducted, 1 in 4 women over 50 years of old have at least one compression fracture. And it is estimated that 25% of postmenopausal women are affected with vertebral compression fractures.
Compression fractures are greatly increased by low bone density. The greatest strategy to reduce your risk of compression fractures is to prevent and cure bone loss. Treatment is critical if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia. In a study conducted, it has proved that these compression fractures are most prevalent in osteoporosis individuals, affecting around 750,000 people each year.
In patients with severe osteoporosis. Simple daily tasks such as getting out of the shower, sneezing hard, or lifting a light object can all result in compression fractures. In patients with intermediate osteoporosis, additional force or trauma, such as falling or attempting to move a large object, is generally required to produce vertebral compression fractures.
People who have had one osteoporotic compression fracture are 5 times more likely to have another. Compression fracture can occasionally be present with either little or no symptoms, although the danger of further VCFs remains. And people with healthy spines are more likely to sustain a compression fracture as a result of significant trauma, such as a vehicle accident, sports injury, or a hard fall.
Metastatic tumors should be considered as a possible cause of spinal compression fracture. Many malignancies spread via the spine’s bones. The tumor may destroy a portion of the vertebra, weakening the bone until it falls.
Fractures in the spine generally occur when the bones in the spine undergo some trauma or are infected by cancer. A vertebroplasty is a minor surgical procedure. Your doctor will only consider this treatment if all other choices with a lower risk of consequences have been exhausted. This surgery is often used by elderly individuals whose bones have grown weak, as well as patients with osteoporosis who have not found relief from discomfort despite bed rest, pain medications, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and back braces.
This Vertebroplasty is more likely to be effective when it is performed within eight weeks of a spinal compression fracture. The main goal of vertebroplasty is to aid in the relief of spine discomfort and the restoration of mobility.
Why is vertebroplasty performed?
Osteoporosis, or bone weakening, is a prevalent cause of compression fractures of the spine. Your doctor may advise you with this process If you have had severe and debilitating pain for at least two months and it has not improved with bed rest, pain medications, back braces and physical therapy.
Your doctor may also consider this process. If you have a painful compression fracture of the spine caused by a fall.
- Cancer, which includes multiple myeloma
- An injury that resulted in shattered spine bones
And also advised to address the following conditions:
- Reinforcement of a vertebral bone or numerous vertebrae prior to a surgical stabilization procedure.
- Vertebral hemangioma which is an abnormal expansion of blood vessels inside a vertebra.
- Weakened Vertebrae, caused by being too fragile or having bones that are too weak for open surgical repair
- Vertebral osteonecrosis or a death of bone, is a rare condition.
What are the potential risks of Vertebroplasty?
Although vertebroplasty is largely regarded as a relatively safe procedure for relieving pain caused by a spinal compression fracture, it is still surgery and risks are prevalent in all surgical treatments. While the complication rate for vertebroplasty is believed to be less than 4%, some of the hazards can be substantial and should be addressed before deciding on surgery. Furthermore, complications during vertebroplasty are infrequent.
Complications may include:
- Allergic reactions to medications
- Increased back pain
- Nerve injuries
- Heart or breathing related issues
- Blood clots
- Leakage of bone cement into the surrounding areas
- Rib fractures or other adjacent bone fractures
Vertebroplasty Procedure at Flow Vascular Clinic by Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala
- The doctor will question you about your medical history and do a physical exam to determine the specific site and kind of vertebral pain. X-rays, MRI, and CT scans are all options.
- The doctor will inquire as to whether you are currently using any drugs or herbal supplements.
- Let your doctor know if you have a family history of bleeding issues.
During the procedure
- Anesthesia is administered to the patient in order to numb the surgical site.
- A biopsy needle is guided into the broken vertebra using a continuous X-ray.
- The doctor will next inject specially designed cement into the damaged vertebra, filling the voids.
- The doctor will then remove the needle.
- After allowing approximately 10 minutes for the cement to set, the area is bandaged.
After the procedure
- You will be observed for 1 to 2 hours.
- The doctor will prescribe over-the-counter medications, and pain relief will take 24-48 hours.
- For the next six weeks, avoid heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity.
- You can return for follow-up treatments on a regular basis.
Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala is a well-known Interventional radiologist expert in Hyderabad, and the top endovascular surgeon in Hyderabad. His objective is to deliver high-quality, tailored healthcare. With his 7 years of experience in diagnosis and radiology has helped 7000 patients in just 5 years. If you are dealing with excess back pain and facing difficulty in walking or facing decreased flexibility in spin, do consult our expert at flow vascular clinic by Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala and for further queries contact us