TRIGEMINAL NERVE BLOCK
Vertebroplasty is a procedure that is used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column. These vertebral compression fractures are mostly common results of osteoporosis.
The procedure itself uses a special cement that is injected into the fractured vertebra. The goal is to relieve spinal pain and restore mobility. Not all people with fractured vertebrae are candidates for the procedure, but some studies suggest that vertebroplasty provides more benefits over more conservative treatments such as: bed rest, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, back braces and physical therapy.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE VERTEBROPLASTY
Before the procedure the doctor will order an X-ray and complete medical history. In some cases the doctor may request Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or A CT scan.
Usually the procedure is done with a sedation medicine, which will help the patient to relax and keep calm. General anesthesia may be used in some cases of severe pain. Using a continuous X-ray the doctor will guide the needle into the fractured vertebra while the patient’s body is protected from the radiation. Then the cement is injected into the vertebra, and depending how the cement enters the doctor may apply a second injection to completely fill it.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE VERTEBROPLASTY TREATMENT
After the procedure the patient should remain lying on their back for an additional 1 or 2 hours, or until the cement hardens. Most patients are kept for observation for a few additional hours. The pain relief might be immediate, but it can take up to 72 hours. Some patients may need to wear a back brace for some period, but usually is not necessary.