This minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure is used to treat a compression fracture of the vertebra, an injury that commonly results from osteoporosis. This technique can restore the height of the vertebra and stabilize the fracture, providing rapid pain relief.
After the patient has been positioned and anesthesia administered, the surgeon inserts a guide wire or needle through the skin of the back. Using fluoroscopic guidance, the surgeon pushes the wire down to the target vertebra. A dilator is pushed over the wire to create a working channel to the vertebra. The surgeon pushes an instrument through the working channel and into the collapsed vertebra. The instrument is used to create a cavity in the body of the vertebra. The cavity is filled with bone cement which rapidly cures and thus stabilizes the bone. The instruments are removed, and the patient is monitored in a recovery room. In many cases, pain relief is immediate, and the patient can return home within a few hours of the procedure.