This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat compression fractures of the spine. Plastic cement is used to hold a broken vertebra (spinal bone) together. This stabilizes your spine and reduces pain. It’s similar to a procedure called kyphoplasty.

Compression fractures in the middle (thoracic) and lower (lumbar) spine are common, especially in older women who have osteoporosis (weak or brittle spinal bones). You can have a compression fracture even without an injury.

The procedure

You may receive a sedative or general anesthesia. Your doctor places a needle, guided with a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy, into the broken bone. Plastic cement is injected into the bone to stabilize it.

Conditions this treats

Vertebroplasty might be recommended for: