The spinal column is composed of multiple bones called vertebrae that can break or collapse due to diseases such as osteoporosis or secondary to tumor invasion. Vertebroplasty is an innovative method of repairing spinal fractures by injecting medical cement into the fracture site, which then hardens and stabilizes the fracture — thereby improving or relieving back pain, decreasing medication usage and increasing patient mobility. Lahey's exceptional personnel and our state-of-the-art equipment, including the digital biplane fluoroscopy system (X-ray machine) and a dedicated portable CT scanner, ensure a greater degree of safety and efficiency for patients undergoing this procedure. The success rate is also remarkable: In 90 percent of cases, patients have experienced immediate or near-immediate pain relief.
You will be placed on your stomach for the procedure, with your arms placed over your head. An anesthesiologist will give you medications through an intravenous line to sedate and relax you. The doctor will then inject cement into the fractured vertebrae to stabilize it. When the physician thinks enough cement has been administered, a small bandage will be applied to the injection site and you will be taken to the recovery room. Typically patients stay overnight, but length of stay can vary. You should expect to be out of bed and walking that same evening.
The treatment of compression fractures at Lahey requires the interaction of multiple medical disciplines. Patients considering vertebroplasty should make an appointment with our Vertebroplasty Clinic for a thorough exam and diagnosis. An endocrinologist will examine you in the morning and order necessary tests including an MRI if one has not already been performed. An interventional neuroradiologist and orthopaedic surgeon will then review your condition and X-rays, and if all the physicians agree that you are a suitable candidate, you will be referred to Interventional Neuroradiology for vertebroplasty. The Vertebroplasty Clinic is open on Wednesdays. To make an appointment, please call the Interventional Neuroradiology Department at 781-744-3330.