How Safe Is Crushed Vertebrae Surgery?


Quick Answer

Overall, surgery to repair fractured vertebrae is a safe and effective procedure, reports RadiologyInfo.org. The procedure carries common risks such as bacterial infections or allergic reactions. Specific risks of vertebrae repair include additional compression fractures and leakage of surgical cement into the spinal fluid.

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Full Answer

The chances of developing a bacterial infection requiring antibiotics as a result of spine surgery are less than one in 1,000, according to RadiologyInfo.org. Allergic reactions to medications or anesthesia can occur, but these risks are not specific to vertebrae fracture repair.

When a fractured vertebra is repaired, a large needle with a balloon is inserted into the fracture and inflated. Surgical cement is injected into the space created by the balloon to join the two edges of the fractured vertebra. Small amounts of this cement may leak from the bone after the procedure. This normally doesn't cause complications, but it can be dangerous if cement travels into the spinal canal or the lung's blood supply.

After the operation, 10 percent of patients can experience a compression fracture, advises RadiologyInfo.org. These symptoms usually present themselves several days after surgery. In addition to this, bleeding or additional back pain may occur as a result of the surgery. Neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling are possible. Paralysis is very rare.

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