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What is a vertebroplasty procedure?

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A vertebroplasty procedure stabilizes compression fractures in the spine. Vertebroplasty involves the injection of bone cement into back bones that are broken or cracked. Pain is reduced and the spine is better supported after a vertebroplasty procedure, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Most patients return home the same day that they undergo a vertebroplasty treatment. A patient is awake but sedated during a vertebroplasty procedure. A patient lies on his stomach and has his backed numbed with a local anesthetic prior to the injection. Cement is injected into an incision made in the back, and the doctor uses X-ray cameras to determine where to inject the cement-filled needle. It generally takes one hour to treat a vertebra. A patient is required to lie flat on his back for two hours following the procedure while the cement is hardening, states Mayo Clinic.

Compression fractures are often very painful and occur when enough pressure is exerted on a vertebra causing it to crack or break. Abnormal spine curves caused by compression fractures can lead to serious health complications, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors often use vertebroplasty to treat patients who have osteoporosis, and the procedure can allow a return to normal activities. Veterbroplasty may also allow a patient to reduce the use of pain medication.

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