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Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). These fractures are frequently caused by osteoporosis or bone thinning, and they can result in significant back discomfort, reduced mobility, and a decline in overall quality of life. Vertebroplasty aims to relieve pain, stabilize the fractured vertebra, and potentially improve the patient's mobility and quality of life. The procedure is typically performed by an interventional radiologist or an orthopedic surgeon. It is usually carried out under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient's condition and preferences.

What is Vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive spine surgery used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). VCFs are caused by weaker or osteoporotic bones and can cause significant pain, limited movement, and spinal abnormalities.
During a vertebroplasty surgery, a surgeon injects specific bone cement into the damaged vertebra to stabilize and strengthen it. 
Vertebroplasty is commonly used to relieve pain, stabilize a fractured spine, and restore function. It can assist people with spinal compression fractures minimize discomfort and enhance their quality of life. It should be noted, however, that vertebroplasty may not be appropriate for all types of spinal fractures, and the choice to perform the treatment should be made after consultation with a trained healthcare practitioner.

When is Vertebroplasty recommended?

Vertebroplasty is typically recommended in the following situations:

  • Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs): Vertebroplasty is most typically done to treat severe vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis. These fractures cause the vertebrae to collapse or compress, causing significant discomfort and limited motion.
  • Severe Pain: When conservative therapies such as pain medicines, bed rest, back braces, and physical therapy fail to offer enough pain relief, vertebroplasty is recommended. The surgery is intended to relieve discomfort caused by the cracked vertebrae.
  • Recent Fractures: Vertebroplasty is frequently advised for recent fractures that happened within the past few months. Early management can help to prevent future issues and hasten recovery.
  • Osteoporosis: Patients with osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by weak and brittle bones, are more likely to have a vertebral compression fracture. Individuals with osteoporotic fractures who are experiencing considerable pain and functional impairment may benefit from vertebroplasty.
  • Ineffectiveness of Non-Surgical therapies: If non-surgical therapies have been ineffectual in controlling pain and increasing the quality of life, vertebroplasty may be considered as an option.

It should be noted that not all fractures can be corrected by vertebroplasty. Certain aspects, such as the location, kind, and stability of the fracture, as well as the patient's general health and condition, will be considered while deciding the suitability of the procedure.

Finally, the choice to have vertebroplasty should be made in conjunction with a healthcare specialist who can examine the individual's unique circumstances and offer the best treatment option.

How to Prepare for Vertebroplasty?

Preparing for vertebroplasty typically involves the following steps:

  • Consultation and Evaluation: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare practitioner who specializes in spinal disorders for a consultation and evaluation. Provide a detailed medical history at the appointment, including current medications, allergies, or past procedures. The doctor will assess your condition and study imaging tests (such as X-rays or MRIs) to determine whether vertebroplasty is appropriate for you.
  • Medication Review: Make sure your doctor is aware of any medications or supplements you are presently taking. To reduce the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure some medications, such as blood thinners or antiplatelet agents, may need to be temporarily discontinued prior to the surgery. Your doctor will provide you with particular drug management advice.
  • Fasting: Follow your healthcare team's fasting guidelines. Typically, you will be requested to avoid eating or drinking anything for a period of time before the procedure. This helps lower the risk of anesthesia-related problems.
  • Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be conducted prior to vertebroplasty to precisely pinpoint the broken vertebrae and aid the surgeon during the procedure.
  • Transportation: As vertebroplasty is often performed as an outpatient treatment, it is recommended that you plan for someone to transport you home following the procedure. The effects of anesthesia or sedation can limit your ability to drive safely for a short period of time.
  • Questions and Concerns: Use this time to discuss with your healthcare professional any questions, concerns, or expectations you may have about the procedure. It is critical to understand the advantages, dangers, and probable results of vertebroplasty.
  • Preoperative Recommendations: Follow any particular preoperative care recommendations offered by your healthcare team, such as showering with a special soap or avoiding certain skincare products.

It is critical that you follow all of your healthcare provider's preoperative recommendations. Proper planning ensures that the procedure runs well and reduces possible risks. If you have any questions or need additional explanation, please do not hesitate to contact your healthcare staff.

How does Vertebroplasty work?

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive spine surgery used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). It entails injecting particular bone cement into the damaged vertebra in order to stabilize and strengthen it. Here’s how vertebroplasty works:

  • Anesthesia and Patient Positioning: The patient is placed on an operating table, generally lying face down. To numb the surgical site, the surgeon will administer local anesthesia. If necessary, general anesthesia may be given in some situations.
  • Needle Insertion: A small needle is gently introduced through the skin and muscles into the broken vertebra using imaging guidance, often fluoroscopy or X-ray. The surgeon ensures that the needle is precisely placed to reach the exact spot.
  • Cement injection: Once the needle is in the correct position within the fractured vertebra, specialized bone cement is injected into the vertebra. The cement is typically made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which is a fast-hardening material. The cement fills the fractured area, stabilizing the vertebra and providing structural support.
  • Cement distribution: As the cement is injected, it flows and spreads within the vertebra, filling the spaces created by the fracture. This helps restore the vertebra's height, alleviate pain, and provide stability.
  • Cement Hardening: Within minutes, the injected cement hardens, providing instant stability and support to the damaged vertebra. This helps to reduce discomfort, prevent additional collapse, and restore vertebral height.
  • Needle Removal and Recovery: The needle is gently withdrawn when the cement has been correctly applied and cured. The site of the injection is finally covered with a sterile dressing.

Following vertebroplasty, patients typically remain hospitalized for a short amount of time before being discharged the same day or after a brief hospital stay. Pain alleviation and better movement are frequently reported quickly after the procedure has been performed.

The cement used in vertebroplasty gives the damaged vertebra structural support, allowing it to restore strength and stability. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain, restore spinal height, and enhance the patient's general quality of life. It should be noted that vertebroplasty is not appropriate for all types of spinal fractures, and the choice to perform the treatment should only be made after a comprehensive examination by a skilled healthcare practitioner.

What to Expect after Vertebroplasty?

After undergoing vertebroplasty, here's what you can generally expect in terms of the recovery process and post-procedure care:

  • Recovery Room and Observation: After the procedure, you might be transferred to a recovery room where healthcare specialists will check your vital signs and monitor your immediate recovery. This is usually a few hours long, during which the effects of anesthetic or sedation wear off.
  • Pain Relief: However some patients may endure persistent soreness or discomfort at the injection site, vertebroplasty frequently gives instant pain relief. To alleviate any post-procedure pain or discomfort, you may be administered pain medications.
  • Hospital Stay or Discharge:  As per the hospital's policy and your general condition, you might get discharged the same day or retained overnight for observation. Based on your specific condition, your doctor will recommend the best course of action.
  • Rest and Activity: It is critical to balance your rest and activity during your recuperation. While it is essential to avoid intense activities initially, your doctor may advise gentle walking and a gradual return to everyday activities. Your healthcare staff will advise you on how to increase your activity levels gradually.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Your doctor will usually schedule follow-up appointments with you to check your progress. These sessions enable your doctor to examine your recovery, review the procedure's success, and answer any concerns or issues you may have.
  • Pain Management and Rehabilitation: To aid with your recovery and regain strength, flexibility, and mobility, your doctor may suggest physical therapy or rehabilitation activities. These exercises can also help with posture and avoid future fractures.
  • Self-Care and Precautions: Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for for a smooth recovery. Avoiding strenuous activities, maintaining an excellent posture, following the right body mechanics, and ensuring enough calcium and vitamin D consumption for bone health are some examples of the measures you can follow.

Individual recovery processes might differ, and your healthcare professional will offer unique advice depending on your specific situation. Maintain regular contact with your doctor, attend follow-up appointments, and discuss any concerns or changes in symptoms during your recovery time.

What are the Benefits and Risks of Vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that has been shown to provide significant pain relief and improved function for patients with vertebral fractures. The benefits and risks of vertebroplasty include the following.


  • Pain relief: Vertebroplasty has been shown to provide rapid and sustained pain relief for patients with vertebral fractures.
  • Improved mobility: By stabilizing the vertebral body, vertebroplasty can help improve mobility and reduce the risk of further fractures.
  • Minimally invasive: Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia and does not require a long recovery period.
  • Effective: Vertebroplasty has been shown to be an effective treatment option for many patients with vertebral fractures.

However, as with any medical procedure, there are certain risks and potential complications associated with vertebroplasty. Some of them are listed below.


  • Infection: There is a risk of infection associated with any procedure, although the risk of infection with vertebroplasty is low.
  • Cement leakage: There is a risk that the bone cement mixture used in vertebroplasty could leak outside the vertebral body, although this is rare.
  • Nerve injury: Though rare, there is a risk of injury to the spinal nerves or other structures during the procedure.

It is important for patients to discuss the benefits and risks of vertebroplasty with their healthcare provider, and to carefully consider their individual needs and condition while making a decision about whether this procedure is right for them.

What is the Prognosis for Vertebroplasty?

The prognosis for vertebroplasty is generally positive, with most patients experiencing significant pain relief and improved function after the procedure. Studies have shown that vertebroplasty is an effective treatment option for many patients with vertebral fractures, and the procedure has been shown to provide rapid and sustained pain relief for many patients. 

Why Choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin! 

The power of Medfin in patient’s words


“ Got to know about them from my friend. They got an appointment for only 299. Once the doctor confirmed that I needed the surgery they got me a fixed cost which included ALL the costs. No extra amounts were charged. Thank you Medfin”

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“ After my consultation with the doctor, MEDFIN representative got me a fixed package cost that included my mothers initial tests, surgery cost. They also gave me stockings free for Rs. 3000 post the surgery. They kept up their promise they made”

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“ Thank you Medfin. They ensured the whole process from selecting a very experienced doctor to offering the latest procedure at a very reasonable price. They also arranged a follow up post my surgery with the doctor to ensure my recovery was on track. Thank you for being there throughout”

Deepa Shree Bangalore 8 days ago
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