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Vertebroplasty at Griffin Hospital


Vertebral Augmentation- Get relief from pain and suffering.

Vertebral augmentation is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure used to treat the pain associated with spinal compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, metastatic tumors or trauma. During vertebral augmentation, the collapsed vertebra is stabilized with specially formulated acrylic bone cement. In addition to providing pain relief, vertebral augmentation can prevent further collapse of the vertebra, height loss and spine curvature.

People with persistent back pain caused by vertebral compression fractures are potential candidates for vertebral augmentation. The most common causes of these fractures are osteoporosis and bone tumors. Patients taking high doses of steroids for the control of diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease might also be candidates. Consult your primary care physician or a qualified vertebral augmentation practitioner to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure.

In most patients, Vertebral augmentation provides immediate and lasting relief of pain related to vertebral compression fractures. Many patients return to their normal activities within only a few days of having the procedure, and most report continued relief from pain months and years later.

The procedure is typically performed in the radiology suite, where the patient lies face down on a table. A local anesthetic is used to numb the affected area of the patient's spine, where the physician inserts one or two needles through a small incision in the patient's skin. Under x-ray guidance, the physician inserts the needles into the fractured vertebra and slowly injects a small amount of bone cement into the vertebra. The patient is kept for observation for a few hours following the procedure. In rare cases, the patient is kept overnight for observation.

Patients typically spend about an hour in the radiology suite for treatment of a single vertebra. Each vertebra takes about a half hour, so treatment of multiple vertebral fractures takes longer. Patients typically spend two to three hours following the procedure in a comfortable observation area to be sure there are no complications or side effects. There is typically no hospitalization associated with Vertebral augmentation.

Most patients report significant pain relief within a few hours of the procedure. The most recent studies report 90% and higher success rates for significantly relieving pain associated with vertebral compression fractures. The resulting benefits in quality of life and well-being are equally high; most patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few days. Complications from the procedure are rare, affecting only about 1 - 3 % of patients with osteoporotic compression fractures. The success rate and potential complications depend upon each patient's health and other factors. You should discuss these risks and complications with your doctor.

The acrylic cement used in vertebral augmentation is similar in formation to the materials used extensively in orthopedic surgery since the 1960s. There are no known detrimental long-term effects.

Vertebral augmentation is covered by Medicare in many states as well as by some private insurers. Contact your insurance agent or local Medicare office for more information on your coverage.

Griffin uses a minimally-invasive solution for patients who suffer from spinal fractures. The StabiliT® System enables your physician to safely and efficiently perform a Vertebral Augmentation to provide rapid relief to back pain cause by a spinal fracture.

TVA is typically an outpatient procedure that usually requires only sedation and local anesthesia, and a small incision to access the vertebra. The entire procedure typically takes just 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

To read more about what it can do for you, view the StabiliT® System brochure.

A small band-aid is placed over the incision following your treatment. You'll then spend several hours in the recovery room, after which time you will be able to return home. As you begin your recovery, you can expect to feel rapid and lasting back pain relief. Soon you should be able to return to your normal daily activities and experience a renewed and improved quality of life.

Talk to your physician about vertebral augmentation. If your physician feels you may be a candidate for the procedure, contact Central Scheduling at 203.732.7101.


Call Griffin Hospital Central Scheduling at (203) 732-7101.