About 60% of vertebral fractures can be asymptomatic (the patient does not have any symptoms). it is also true that one of the fundamental consequences of these fractures is pain, which can be intense, with functional invalidating disability and that can be hardly controllable by non-invasive treatments (conventional analgesia, rest, physiotherapy…).
As a reliable and minimally invasive therapeutic alternative, it has been developed the procedure called vertebroplasty.
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive technique invasive that consists in the injection of a material (polymethyl methacrylate, calcium triphosphate or other) in a vertebral body, with the aim of decreasing pain and increasing vertebral mechanical resistance.
Procedure and technique
It is done by puncture of the affected vertebral body with fluoroscopic control or by CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography), or both at the same time.
There are 4 access routes to the vertebral bodies: anterolateral (for the cervical spine), parapedicular, lateral (for the lumbar spine only) and transpedicular. The latter is the most used.
They are usually done with local anesthesia and sedation, but epidural anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, or general anesthesia (very occasionally) may be used.
Vertebroplasty is performed by puncturing the vertebral body with needles, by any of the access routes listed above, guided by digital fluoroscopy or CAT.
Sometimes the technique can be used to perform a biopsy if the etiology of the vertebral fracture is not clear. When the needle reaches the vertebral body, the cement mixture is injected under strict fluoroscopic control of the posterior extension of the cement with the help of a mechanical injector. There are various injection and cementing devices on the market that,
usually mix the cement inside, connecting directly to the needle.
The technique is usually completed in half an hour per vertebral level; It is not recommended to consolidate more than three vertebrae in a single session.
At Harley Street Hospital, we have highly-qualified surgeons who can perform this procedure. Book a consultation to get a specialist´s opinion.