The doctor guides the needle using fluoroscopy. This is a test that can be used to position a needle for a procedure. Vertebroplasty takes 1 to 2 hours. The injection usually takes only about 10 minutes.
The cement mixture
hardens in about half an hour. You likely will go home the same day. You may take some pain medicine for a couple of
This surgery can be used to return your vertebrae to a more normal shape.
Your doctor may numb the area, or you may get medicine to make you sleep. The doctor makes a small cut in your back and puts a balloon
device into the fractured vertebra. The doctor inflates the balloon and then deflates it. Then he or she puts the cement substance into the space created by the balloon. It takes 1 to 2 hours to treat each vertebra.
You may go home that day, or you may spend the night in the hospital.
How well do these surgeries work?
Only a few studies have been done on these surgeries. One study showed that people who had vertebroplasty for recent compression fractures noticed pain relief right away.1 Two other studies, involving people with painful compression fractures from osteoporosis, compared those who got the cement to those who didn't. In these two groups, there was not much difference in their pain or their ability to be active.2, 3
Because the surgeries are still somewhat new, it's not known how well they work over time.