Vertebroplasty – Bellevue Medical Center


In days past this would be something if you
had a bad fracture you could be bed ridden, but with this procedure patients can be up
and walking around and doing their normal activities the next day. Vertebroplasty is a fancy word for a procedure
that we use to take care of patients that have a fracture in their back. Most often
it’s an elderly patient, typically a woman who has soft bones or osteoporosis. Men can
get it also and even if you don’t have soft bones, you can get a fracture in your back
where this procedure can help. We use the X-ray machine, fluoroscopy, and
we use that to put some needles into the back. We put two needles into the bone that is fractured
or compressed. Once the needles are in the right spot, we use the x-ray machine to inject
some cement. We watch it as it goes in and put a little cement through each needle and
it hardens rather quickly. We get the needles out and you should be able to go home the
same day. About 90 percent of the patients have pain
relief; most of those have complete pain relief from the procedure. Some of the patients get relief where they
can change from a very strong pain medicine to an over-the- counter medicine or may not
have to take any medicine at all. The procedure will allow them to perform their daily activities
a lot easier. With this procedure most of the time spent
is setting things up. We get you on the table and mark some spots on your skin. Getting
the needles in can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes and then we put the cement in and
it’s done. The procedure itself is typically only around 20 minutes. During the procedure we give medicine through
the I.V. for pain and also give you medicine to help you relax. So, patients typically
don’t remember anything from the procedure. Patients, after they have a fracture, are
typically in so much pain they are unable to walk, some aren’t able to stand, they
can’t lie down and they aren’t comfortable in any position. We’re able to do the procedure
quickly and get them up and moving like they were before. A lot of places you might have
to wait a week or two weeks to get the procedure done and we can typically get it done the
same day, if not the following day. It is a very quick service we offer here at the
Bellevue Medical Center and we’re proud of that.

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