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Vertebroplasty: Procedure, Recovery, Cost, Risk & Complication

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2024

What is Vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty is a procedure of the spine which is performed in case of a spinal fracture. This procedure helps in easing the pain as a result of the spinal fracture. The procedure is a minimally invasive procedure as it is performed by making a small incision on the skin. The procedure can be used for malignant or osteoporotic fractures. The procedure is known to increase the mobility of the patient, prevent further collapse of the vertebra and reduce narcotic needs.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty involves injection of a certain type of cement, polymethylmetharylate (PMMA) in the body.


The procedure is recommended for neoplastic or osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. These fractures are extremely painful and require analgesic drugs, immobilization, and demineralization. Medical treatment is usually ineffective as a long term treatment.

For people affected with spinal tumors, this procedure provides immediate relief. Radiotherapy is generally used to treat these tumors, but the required effect takes a couple of weeks to be achieved.

It is also used to treat vertebral hemangloma, a condition where one experiences severe spinal pain that is focal in nature.

What Procedure is followed :

Pre Procedure

Before the procedure begins, the doctor will got through the patient’s medical history. A physical examination will be conducted to check whether the patient is fit to undergo the procedure. MRI reports of the vertebra will be examined by the surgeon. It is done to detect any significant narrowing of the canal or any signs of infection. The surgeon also takes consent from the patient to perform the surgery.

During Procedure

The procedure is usually completed within an hour. The patient is initially given local anesthesia for light sedation. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. After the anesthesia is administered, a biopsy needle is injected into affected vertebra. The needle is guided by X-ray through the skin.

After this a specially designed bone cement that is acrylic in nature is injected into the affected vertebra under pressure. This cement fills up the space within the bone and acts as an internal cast. This helps in stabilizing the bone. The needle is then removed, and the cement is then hardened in about 10 minutes. The punctured site on the skin is then bandaged.

Post Procedure

Post procedure, you will be advised complete bed rest for 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, physical activity is gradually increased. You will be prescribed medications which you will have to take on a regular basis. You will experience some soreness on the affected area for a few days. This soreness can be treated with the help of an ice pack.

Most people generally experience less pain within the first two days of the procedure. Compared to pre procedure, the ability to perform normal routine activities post procedure have also been said to improve gradually.


Risk & Complication

Complications from this procedure are very rare. The various complications that can however occur are – bleeding, infection, a sensation of numbness, increased back pain and paralysis. Other complications that may occur are nerve root compression, formation of blood clot within a vein and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). The cement can also extrude into the vertebral canal which may lead to compression of the spinal cord.


More Info

The price of undergoing a vertebroplasty ranges from 3,50,000 to 4,00,000. You will have to take various medication after the surgery to prevent infections. Certain lifestyle modifications also need to be made like cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption. Following a proper exercise regimen is also

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Written ByDr. Chirag Dalal MS - OrthopaedicsOrthopaedics
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