Spinal compression fractures (Percutaneous Vertebroplasty) are most commonly found in elderly patients suffering from osteoporosis. More than 700,000 of these painful fractures occur each year in the U.S. Other causes include drug side effects, trauma and tumors which invade and weaken the bone.
Persisting severe pain from compression fractures can now be controlled or eliminated, without surgery, by vertebroplasty.
Under mild IV sedation, using local anesthesia, a needle is painlessly advanced into the fractured vertebral body. This is done under fluoroscopic guidance. Next, a small amount of X-ray dye is injected to confirm the position of the needle. Finally, a quick setting bone cement is injected, stabilizing the fracture and relieving the pain.
Vertebroplasty can eliminate the need for prolonged bed rest and narcotics after trauma. Patients suffering from persisting debilitating pain often can "get their life back."
To learn more, visit www.virchicago.com