Health Insights

Vertebroplasty Surgery for Spinal Fractures

Vertebroplasty is a method used to treat fractures in the spine. These fractures may occur due to various reasons such as conditions like osteoporosis, sudden traumas, or diseases like cancer. These fractures may cause back pain and limited mobility, affecting your quality of life.

During the procedure, doctor reaches the area of fracture using a special method, often done with a thin needle. Then, a type of special cement-like substance is injected into the fracture. This substance spreads into the fracture, strengthening and stabilizing the bones. This supports the fractured area and reduces pain. This procedure is also colloquially referred to as “Spinal Filling.”

Vertebroplasty is typically performed under local anesthesia, meaning the patient is awake but the procedure area is numbed. Post-operation, a quick recovery is usually observed and normal daily activities can be resumed within a few hours.

This procedure is an effective method to alleviate pain from spinal fractures and improve quality of life. However, each patient is different, and it’s important to consult a doctor to determine if Vertebroplasty is appropriate.


Preoperative Process for Vertebroplasty Surgery

Performing Vertebroplasty is decided depending on patient’s clinical condition, symptoms, radiological images, and other medical factors. This decision-making process usually consists of several steps and is determined based on the patient’s specific situation.

Patient Assessment: Initially, the patient consults a healthcare professional with their complaints and symptoms, which could include back pain, limited movement, or other signs.

Physical Examination: The doctor evaluates the patient’s physical condition, considering factors such as mobility, pain points, and spinal difficulty.

Imaging Tests: Radiological imaging tests, especially X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, are used to determine the location and severity of fractures in the spine.

Conservative (Non-Surgical) Treatments: In spinal fractures, doctors prefer non-surgical methods in mild cases. These methods include rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy, which support the natural healing process of the spine.

In Cases of Severe Pain and Fracture: If patient’s symptoms are severe and significantly affect their quality of life, and they do not respond to conservative treatments, doctors may recommend surgical interventions like Vertebroplasty.

Reviewing the Risks and Benefits: Doctor informs patient about the potential risks and benefits of the Vertebroplasty procedure. This process contributes to the patient’s decision-making process, providing a clear understanding of the treatment.

In conclusion, the decision to perform Vertebroplasty depends on the individual characteristics and condition of the patient. Doctors conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for patient’s individual situation.



How Is Vertebroplasty Surgery Performed?

This procedure involves fixing the fracture with a special cement and stabilizing the spinal area. It is performed within a specific process and can help improve spinal health in patients. So, how is Vertebroplasty Surgery performed?

  1. Patient Preparation: Patient is informed about when the surgery will be performed, what type of anesthesia will be applied, and what to expect post-surgery. Additionally, patient’s medical history, allergies, and current medications are reviewed.
  2. X-Ray Guidance System and Needle Placement: During surgery, the doctor uses an X-Ray guidance system to identify the correct location of the fracture. Then, a thin needle is directed towards the fractured vertebra. This needle will be used to inject the cement.
  3. Cement Injection: Once the needle reaches the fracture, the doctor begins injecting a cement-like substance. This substance is injected into the fracture, where it hardens to support and stabilize the fracture.
  4. Postoperative Care: After surgery, patient is typically observed for a few hours to ensure the surgery was successful. The doctor provides instructions on how to manage pain post-surgery and perform necessary exercises.
  5. Follow-Up Examinations: Patients should regularly visit their doctors during the recovery process. During these examinations, the postoperative recovery is assessed, and the treatment plan may be adjusted if necessary.

Who Is Suitable for Vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty Surgery is a commonly used surgical method for treating spinal fractures. However, this surgery is not suitable for everyone and requires specific criteria to be met. Generally, the following factors are considered to determine if the surgery is suitable:

  • Bone Density: When considering Vertebroplasty for treating spinal fractures, patient’s bone density is evaluated. Conditions like Osteoporosis can affect the suitability of the surgery.
  • Severity of Pain: Patients with severe pain due to spinal fractures may be candidates for Vertebroplasty. However, the potential of the surgery to reduce pain, its advantages and risks are assessed compared to other treatment options.
  • Ineffectiveness of Other Treatment Options: If medication, physical therapy, and other conservative treatment methods have failed to control pain from spinal fractures, Vertebroplasty may be considered.
  • General Health Condition: Patient’s overall health condition can influence the risks of surgery. Particularly, patients with other health issues such as heart, lung, or kidney problems need to undergo a comprehensive examination before surgery.
  • Patient’s Age: Patient’s age can affect the suitability of the surgery. Surgery risks may increase in older patients.

In addition to these criteria, the decision to perform the surgery depends on the patient’s specific situation and needs. Therefore, a comprehensive examination is conducted before Vertebroplasty, and decision is made by a specialist doctor.


Neurosurgery Specialist

Dr. Oğuz Özel