Osteoporosis becomes complicated after a vertebral fracture that could have occurred spontaneously or due to a minor trauma. These fractures are very painful and are treated with immobilisation and with a specific treatment of osteoporosis. But immobilization leads to demineralization. Even though medical treatment is given for a long time, some patients have severe and persistent pain. The consequences of vertebral fracture include height reduction, kyphosis (hunch back) and chronic back pain.
Percutaneous Vertebroplasty is suggested for painful osteoporotic or neoplastic vertebral compression fractures refractory to medical therapy.
Vertebroplasty also known as Percutaneous Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which special cement is injected into fractured vertebrae which helps to stabilise and reduce the pain at the spine caused due to the fracture. This is a minimally invasive procedure since a small puncture is done in the patient’s skin. This procedure is recommended for patients with vertebral compression fractures caused due to osteoporosis, benign tumors or metastatic tumors. This procedure increases the patient’s mobility and decreases further vertebral collapse.
Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, it is performed as an out-patient procedure where the patient need not get admitted at the hospital. It is performed under local anaesthesia and slight sedation. During the procedure the special cement known as polymethylmethacrylate(PMMA) is injected with a biopsy needle into the fractured vertebrae with the support of X-ray guidance. The cement quickly dries forming a support structure within the vertebrae that provides stabilises and strength. The biopsy needle makes a small puncture in the patient skin which can be covered with bandage after the procedure.