Treating Severe Back Pain Caused by a Compression Fracture
Vertebroplasty may offer hope for patients who have severe back pain caused by a compression fracture due to osteoporosis or metastatic disease of the spine. If left untreated, a compression fracture can lead to an abnormal spine curvature.
Your physician may recommend vertebroplasty if you have severe pain for two months or more that does not get better with bed rest, pain medicines and physical therapy. The procedure is performed by interventional radiologists with the assistance of an X-ray image on a monitor, and it is typically done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. Acrylic bone cement is placed into the fractured vertebrae through a small incision. The cement stabilizes the vertebra resulting in significant pain reduction as soon as 24 hours.
Vertebroplasty is an option for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as pain medications, bed rest or bracing, and those who are not good candidates for major spine surgery.