Rhode Island Medical Imaging

To make an appointment, call 401-432-2400

Spinal Compression Fracture/Vertebroplasty

Over 700,000 new cases of vertebral compression fractures (VCF) occur each year, typically affecting elderly men and women with osteoporosis.  Younger patient may also suffer from VCF due to fragile bones from chronic steroid use.  For many elderly, VCF typically means debilitating constant pain, reduced mobility, narcotic pharmacotherapy, and reduced quality of life.  Although surgical options exist, spinal surgery is invasive, difficult and risky and therefore is not typically applicable, except as a last option.

Vertebroplasty is a relatively new treatment available for painful compression fractures.  Using fluoroscopic guidance, interventional radiologist delivers a bone cement mixture (PMMA) into the broken vertebra percutaneously without a surgical incision. Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure and often performed under 1 hour.  Typically, pain is resolved within few days, allowing patients to return to daily activities.

For more information or questions please call Interventional Radiology at Rhode Island Medical Imaging at (401)-421-1924.

 
Picture of a vertebral compression fracture   Placement of the needle into a vertebra to deliver the bone cement to stabilize the compression fracture
     
   
Lateral x-ray shows a compression fracture of T8 (arrow), but MRI (not shown) also revealed a fracture of T9 (arrowhead) not appreciated on the x-ray    
     
 
Needles placed through the skin without surgical a surgical incision for bone cement delivery.   After bone cement delivery into the two vertebral bodies

 

More Information

Learning More About Vertebroplasty - American Family Physician

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