CRL Surgical & Radiology Associates
Imaging Procedures
/ Home / /
 

Vertebroplasty

Vertebroplasty is a new procedure designed to help stabilize spine fractures and reduce pain in people with osteoporosis or fractures secondary to tumor. The board-certified interventional radiologists at CRL Surgical in Charlottesville and Central Virginia have a broad range of expertise in treating these disorders.

Initially, one of the interventional radiologists will evaluate the patient prior to performing the procedure. This will include a neurologic exam as well as a back exam to help localize the area of most pain. Usually, a specialized study called an MRI will be performed with directed attention to this area to evaluate the fractured bone and check for any potential complicating factors (such as a potentially dangerous bone fragment or a pinched nerve).

After determining that the patient is a candidate, the procedure will be scheduled as an outpatient. Light sedation will be provided with a safe drug combination, usually a muscle relaxant and a narcotic. The patient will be placed on the stomach in a very comfortable position on a specialized X-ray table and the affected vertebral level will be localized with very low dose X-rays. A local anesthetic will be placed in the skin. Using fluoroscopy, the interventional radiologist will guide two small needles into the broken bone. With Vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected directly into the fractured bone through the needles over several minutes. With Kyphoplasty, two small balloons are first inserted and inflated to restore the height of the affected bone. After the balloons are deflated and removed, the cement is then injected.

The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes per level treated and the patient can typically go home 2-3 hours following completion. Often, the patient can return to normal function and activity several days following the procedure.

Back to Top

Back to Top

       

Back to Top

Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty has been performed by CRL physicians at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville and Central Virginia for over three years with excellent results. Hundreds of procedures have been completed and we have found that approximately 85-90% of patients experienced elimination or reduction in pain symptoms following the procedure. Although complication rates have been reported in 1-3 % of cases in some studies, there have been no clinically significant adverse events at our institution.

For more information about vertebroplasty, click here.

Back to Top