vertebroplasty

Redefine Healthcare announced that they offer vertebroplasty for patients at their New Jersey offices. Vertebroplasty is used to reduce deformity and pain after compression fractures of the spine. A compression fracture occurs in the body of the vertebra and may cause one or more vertebrae to collapse; this is often due to osteoporosis. Other conditions such as cancer can also weaken the vertebrae. When a vertebra collapses, vertebroplasty may be able to halt the loss of bone height and reverse painful deformities of the spine. Vertebroplasty is usually most effective if completed within the first eight weeks following the injury. Waiting longer may mean that the fracture will continue to collapse on itself and begin the healing process in this deformed state. If this happens, bone height cannot be restored.

What is vertebroplasty?

During vertebroplasty, a special plastic cement is injected into a vertebral body to restore normal height. This cement forms an internal cast or mold that supports the vertebrae and prevents further fracturing or collapsing of the bone.

Vertebroplasty is performed using a local anesthetic with sedation. This means that the patient is awake, and only the area being treated is numb. The patient lies on their stomach, and a needle is inserted through the edge of the vertebra to allow for the injection of the cement. The doctor uses fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance so that they can see the path of the needle at all times. Before injecting the cement, the doctor may inject a contrast medium to be sure that the cement will not leak into the veins or the spinal canal. This contrast medium is thin enough to leak out quickly and reveal any potential problems. However, as imaging technology becomes more advanced, the need for this step is reduced.

Vertebroplasty typically takes about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how many vertebrae require treatment. It may be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Usually, no more than three vertebrae can be treated in one session.

Preparing for vertebroplasty

You may be referred for vertebroplasty if you are experiencing back pain, and it is determined that the pain is related to a vertebral fracture rather than other conditions such as arthritis. The most accurate way to diagnose the cause of your pain is with an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). However, people with pacemakers, metal fragments, or implants cannot have MRIs because of the magnetic fields used by MRI scanning. There are alternatives to MRIs that can be used to diagnose back pain, but in the case of multiple vertebral fractures, it can be challenging to determine which one is causing your pain.

Before having vertebroplasty, it’s vital to ensure that you manage any medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Because you will be sedated, you will be instructed to stop eating solid food for a short period before the procedure, usually at least six hours. Generally, when you book the procedure, you will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare; be sure to ask if you have any questions.

Vertebroplasty offers a unique method of restoring vertebra height in the case of fracture and collapse, preventing further collapse, and reversing deformity. If you would like more information or to find out whether you might be a good candidate for this procedure, you can call Redefine Healthcare at (732) 313-2610 or contact them here.

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