Vertebral Fracture Repair
Description of Vertebrae Fracture Repair
Vertebral compression fractures are a common problem, particularly in the elderly population. Individuals with osteoporosis or osteopenia have diminished bone quality and have a much higher risk of bone fracture. There are now minimally invasive surgical techniques that can be used in the treatment of some painful fractures in the lumbar and thoracic spinal regions. The two primary names for this type of surgery are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.
Conditions Treated- Vertebrae Fracture Repair
Vertebral body fracture with osteoporosis.
What to Expect Before the Vertebrae Fracture Repair
Once you have decided to have surgery, the following events take place:
- A medical examination.
- Chest X-ray, EKG and blood work.
- You may be asked to have a neurological or psychological examination.
- If taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications daily, stop these medications at least one week before surgery.
- If you take prescription medications or other drugs, including herbals, ask your doctor how soon before surgery you should stop taking these.
- Do not have anything to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before surgery.
- You will check into the hospital the morning of surgery.
- Prior to surgery, you will be asked to sign permits for surgery, anesthesia, blood and blood products.
What to Expect During the Vertebrae Fracture Repair
- One or two small incisions will be made in your back.
- Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) is used to determine the correct level(s) to be operated.
- A small tube will be placed through skin and into the vertebral body and into the center region of the fractured vertebra using x-ray guidance.
- If kyphoplasty is performed, a small balloon-like device is put through the tube and inflated.
- The balloon is then deflated and removed.
- Bone cement will be injected through the tube and into the fractured bone.
- The process may be repeated on the other side of the spine.
- The procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes (longer if more than one level is treated).
What to Expect After the Vertebrae Fracture Repair
- You will be in the recovery room from 1 to 1½ hours.
- The surgeon will contact your family while you are in recovery.
- After going to a hospital room, you will be given pain medication if needed.
- Staff will usually get you out of bed shortly after surgery.
- A brace or corset may be prescribed to restrict bending.
- You will be given any needed prescriptions and discharge instructions.
- You will go home the same day or the next day.
- You will be able to ride in a car or plane upon leaving the hospital.
- You will need someone to drive you home.
Recovery time after vertebral body repair is minimal, although the pain is not always completely eliminated.