Vertebroplasty may offer hope for patients who have severe back pain caused by a compression fracture due to osteoporosis or metastatic disease of the spine. If left untreated, a compression fracture can lead to an abnormal spine curvature.

Vertebroplasty offers another option for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments (pain medications, bed rest and bracing) and those who are not good candidates for major spine surgery.

In general, vertebroplasty is recommended for those with a fairly recent fracture (6 months or less). Performed by interventional radiologists with the assistance of an X-ray image on a monitor, vertebroplasty is typically done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. Acrylic bone cement is placed into the fractured vertebrae through a small incision. The cement stabilizes the vertebra resulting in significant pain reduction as soon as 24 hours.