What Lumbar Procedures Require Flouroscopy?


Quick Answer

Lumbar procedures that sometimes require fluoroscopy are a lumbar puncture and vertebroplasty, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors use a lumbar puncture, also known as the spinal tap, to withdraw cerebrospinal fluid from the space between the vertebrae in order to diagnose disease or inject medication or dye. Vertebroplasty is a procedure that repairs fractured vertebrae.

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When a doctor uses flouroscopy during a lumbar puncture, the patient lies with his knees drawn up to his chest or sits with his arms draped over a table, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. The physician cleanses the area and gives the patient a local anesthetic to numb the back and the intravertebral space. Then, the physician withdraws some spinal fluid through a needle and injects a contrast medium into the spinal fluid to allow visualization of the spine. This procedure is known as myelography.

During vertebroplasty, the physician uses fluoroscopy to insert a needle into the area of the fracture, says the American Society of Neuroradiology. The doctor then introduces a bone cement such as polymethylmethacrylate through the needle. The bone cement stabilizes the fracture. Then, the doctor removes the needle and places a dressing over the puncture. This procedure is usually done using local anesthesia or IV sedation.

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