ertebroplasty is a type of spinal surgery designed to eliminate or reduce pain caused by bone conditions such as osteoporosis and/or tumor growth. Weak or brittle bones in the spine cause not only pain, but also limited range of motion and movement. For example, osteoporosis slowly wears away bone material, which eventually causes the vertebra, or those bony sections of the spine, to rub against each other, causing a vertebral compression fracture.
Such compression fractures caused by osteoporosis are extremely painful and can severely limit mobility and function. The vertebroplasty procedure offers relief, as well as increased mobility and independence.
Anyone diagnosed with osteoporosis and/or is experiencing metastatic tumors may benefit from vertebroplasty. This medical procedure reduces or eliminates the need for external braces, medications and bed rest while at the same time increasing mobility and independence. The vertebroplasty technique provides support and stabilization to damaged or collapsed vertebra and is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.
Vertebroplasty is beneficial to patients because:
Percutaneous means under the skin and vertebra designates one or more of the 33 vertebra bones found along the spinal column. ‘Plasty’ is a medical suffix that implies ’forming or molding through surgery’. So, put together, the procedure ‘percutaneous vertebroplasty’ literally means ‘forming the vertebra under the skin’. The vertebroplasty procedure is performed in an outpatient surgical suite such as those found in ambulatory surgery centers. Individuals arrive with a companion, who can drive home following the procedure.
The procedure doesn’t take long (between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the number of vertebrae to be treated) and provides near immediate relief of pain and discomfort. The orthopedic surgeon will ask you to lie down on your stomach. He then inserts a needle containing a local anesthetic at the surgical site. The doctor may place you under light sedation if needed.
The surgeon then inserts a special type of needle called a biopsy needle through an extremely small incision over the area to be treated. The needle is attached to a syringe containing a type of artificial bone cement. A small amount of biocompatible cement known as radiopaque polymethylmethacrylate (a type of specially created acrylic bone) is injected into the area between the damaged vertebra where they have collapsed. The surgeon then removes the needle and waits for the biocompatible gel or glue to harden.
When the procedure is finished, all you need is a band-aid to cover the injection site. Following the procedure, you need to remain at the outpatient center for a couple of hours to make sure that you feel okay and that the glue or cement has had a chance to harden. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding the resumption of your normal daily activities, but in most situations, patients are able to return to their normal activities within 1 to 2 days. Patients often notice a reduction of pain within two days.
The cost of a vertebroplasty procedure depends on how many vertebra are being repaired or supported. Because vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure requiring minimal surgery, it cost tens of thousands of dollars less than types of spine surgery that may require hospitalization, including vertebral fusion treatments and repairs for herniated discs. Costs are also determined by geographical region, with international destinations such as India, Thailand and central Europe offering lower prices than those found in the U.S. and the U.K.
An orthopedic surgeon specially trained, certified and experienced in this procedure should perform Vertebroplasty procedures. Orthopedic surgeons should also be certified in all types of spinal surgery procedures and surgeries including cervical, thoracic and lumbar locations. The surgeon of your choice should also be a member of orthopedic and spine surgery organizations or associations that recognizes that training, experience and licensing. Consumers should verify the experience and training of surgeons, facilities and support staff to ensure proper training and expertise, certification and accreditation.
For more information about the Vertebroplasty treatment and information about the best clinics offering the procedure, please contact us!
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