This minimally-invasive procedure is an injection of bone cement into a vertebra. It stabilizes a compression fracture of the spine. One or more vertebrae may need to be treated.
In preparation for the procedure, you lie face down. You may be given medicine to make you feel relaxed. You may be anesthetized. The physician inserts a needle through the skin of your back. An x-ray device called a "fluoroscope" shows a video image of the needle's position. This helps the physician guide the needle into the body of your collapsed vertebra. When the needle is in place, the physician injects the bone cement. The cement fills the fractured spaces within the vertebra. A second injection may be needed to completely fill the bone. During the next hour, the cement will harden. It will strengthen and stabilize your spine. When the procedure is complete, the needle is removed. You may be asked to lie on your back as the cement hardens. Your physician will give you instructions to aid your recovery.