What is vertebroplasty?
This technique is used to relieve the pain associated with spinal fractures or tumours. It is most commonly used to treat osteoporotic spinal fractures. The technique may be performed under local or general anaesthetic. Most patients go home the same day as the procedure. To perform the technique a needle is passed into the affected bone using X-ray guidance. Once in position the broken bone is filled with cement to stabilise it and relieve the associated pain. The procedure is safe and well studied although there is a small risk of cement leaking into the bloodstream or spinal canal. If this occurs there is a risk of lung complications or paralysis.