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Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures of vertebra by injecting special bone cement into back bones (vertebrae) that have cracked or broken, often because of osteoporosis. The cement eventually hardens, stabilizes the fractures and supports spine.

Indications for Vertebroplasty

Surgeon may recommend the procedure in following cases:

  • Traditional methods of treating fractured vertebra or back pain fail
  • Severe or prolonged pain or immobility
  • Elderly or frail patients
  • Vertebral compression due to a malignant tumor
  • Fractured vertebra with more serious complications like deep vein thrombosis, acceleration of osteoporosis, respiratory problems, loss of height and emotional or social issues.


Vertebroplasty is performed under general or local anaesthesia while using real-time x-rays to reach the target area. A needle is inserted into the fractured vertebra and bone cement is slowly injected into the vertebra. A second injection may also be required in case the vertebra is not completely filled. It takes around one hour for each fracture and patient also needs to lie on their back for 1 hour after the procedure while the cement hardens. Patient may experience pain relief almost immediately after the procedure, but it might take up to 72 hours.

Advantages of Vertebroplasty

  • Safe and effective procedure
  • No surgical incision is needed
  • Greatly reduces spinal pain
  • Restores mobility
  • Allows early return to normal activity
  • Increase a patient's functional abilities
  • Better quality of life

Vertebroplasty Risks

Vertebroplasty is a safe and well tolerated procedure but may be associated with minor complications like:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Increased back pain
  • Paralysis
  • Blood loss
  • Fractures of ribs or other nearby bones
  • Fever
  • Nerve root irritation
  • Infection
  • Cement flowing outside of the bone before it hardens


Authored by Dr. Shyam Sundar K

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Dr. Shyam Sundar K

Dr. Shyam Sundar K is an eminent name in the field of neurology. He is one of the best neurosurgeon in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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