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Vertebroplasty Procedure & Technique

Scheduling and Directions


DeKalb Medical performs a vertebroplasty procedure, a minimally invasive treatment that can repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis , cancer or benign lesions. When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain.

In the vertebroplasty technique, a needle is inserted through the skin and into the crushed vertebra. A special bone cement is injected into the bone to stabilize it. Vertebroplasty is performed under local anesthesia. Vertebroplasty typically is recommended after simpler treatments such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication have been ineffective or when medications begin to cause other problems.

A similar procedure to the vertebroplasty technique, known as kyphoplasty, may be performed. Kyphoplasty involves the use of special othopaedic balloons to lift and restore the shape of the fractured bone before the cement is inserted into the bone. It is most often used when the fractures are caused by osteoporosis.

After their vertebroplasty procedure, some patients experience immediate pain relief, while most people report their pain is gone or significantly better within 48 hours.

Preparing for Your Vertebroplasty Procedure

You should plan to have someone drive you home after your vertebroplasty procedure. Do not take any blood thinners or aspirin three days prior to your procedure. Be sure to ask your physician about any medications you are taking or any questions your might have about your procedure.

Do not eat or drink anything four to six hours before your procedure. The procedure usually takes less than one hour and may require an overnight hospital stay as determined by your doctor.

After Your Vertebroplasty Procedure

You should rest after you get home for six to eight hours before resuming normal activities. After your vertebroplasty procedure, your nurse will give you any other after-care instructions. Use these preparation and care instructions as a guide. A detailed report will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.

Scheduling and Directions

Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your vertebroplasty procedure for you.

If your vertebroplasty will be performed at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, you will need to go to the hospital’s central registration area.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right. (Note: If you are in a wheelchair or need to be dropped off at the entrance, turn left and proceed to the Central Registration patient drop-off which is on the right just past the main hospital entrance. Your driver should then turn around and continue to the Visitor/Patient parking deck.)
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Take any elevator or stairs to the 3rd level.
  • Proceed to the Pedestrian Bridge to the hospital.
  • Take bridge straight ahead to the escalators.
  • Take escalators down one level.
  • Once off escalators, turn right and immediately left and follow the directions to the hospital main lobby.
  • Proceed past the hospital Gift Shop on your right.
  • Once in the main lobby, follow the hallway to Central Registration.
  • At the end of hallway, turn left.
  • Central Registration is on the right.

If your procedure is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.

  • Park in the hospital parking lot.
  • Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
  • Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
  • When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department for your procedure.
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