Spinal fractures are very different from leg or arm fractures.  A fracture of the spine can cause fragments of it to pinch or damage nerves coming out of the spine or the spinal cord itself.  There are different types of fractures of the spine, compression being the most common.

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat compression fractures by injecting cement into vertebral body.  To ensure proper placement of the medication, the procedure is performed under x-ray (fluoroscopy)

The goal of vertebroplasty is to stabilize the fracture and stop the pain caused by the fracture.

Risks include cement extrusion into the vertebral canal leading to spinal cord or nerve root compression, venous embolism (a blood clot that forms within a vein), pulmonary embolism (one or more blood clots blocking an artery in the lungs).  Complications are rare with vertebroplasty but include infection, bleeding, numbness/tingling, increased back pain, and paralysis.

During the procedure you will be injected with a local anesthetic in our procedure room.  A needle will be guided through your skin to the affected vertebrae(s) using an x-ray machine to ensure proper placement of the needle.  Cement will then be injected into the fractured vertebrae(s), filling the spaces caused by the fracture thus stabilizing the vertebrae.  Once the cement is in position, it will take approximately 10 minutes to harden.

Relief varies from one person to the next.  However, pain relief after vertebroplasty can be immediate and may last for 3 years.

You may NOT drive for the remainder of the day after your procedure.  No heat is to be used on the injection area for the remainder of the day.  No tub bath or soaking in water (pools/Jacuzzi, etc) for the remainder of the day.  You may also be on bed rest for at least 24 hours after your procedure.  You may gradually resume normal activities after 24 hours.  You may experience some soreness which you may apply ice packs to.

If you experience severe back pain, new numbness or weakness of your legs, loss of control of your bladder or bowels, or have signs of infection (temperature greater than 99.9º , drainage, redness/heat at insertion site) – call IMMEDIATELY.


♦ Take all blood pressure pills & heart medications prior to the procedure with a sip of water at least 3 hours before your requested arrival time. Your vitals must be stable to have the procedure.

♦ Have a responsible person to take you home.

♦ Arrive at the requested procedure time.  Please do not be late or your procedure may be cancelled. 


♦ Do not take ANY of the following 5 days before your procedure:  Coumadin

♦ Do not take ANY of the following 7 days before your procedure:  Plavix

♦ Coumadin must be stopped prior to the injection. You must have a normal INR prior to the injection.  Do not stop the drug by yourself.

♦ Eat or drink 6 hours before the procedure.


  • You have an active infection, flu, cold, fever, or very high blood pressure.
  • You do not have a responsible driver to take you home, arrive late for your procedure, or unable to follow the medication / fluid restrictions.

Call the office at (513) 860-1039 for procedure related questions.