Vertebral augmentation is a spinal procedure designed to restore height and treat vertebrae fractures and other spinal conditions. As a spinal surgery, it requires you to weigh your options carefully.

Learn more about the recovery times and details of vertebral augmentations to decide if this is the right surgery for your spinal pain.

What Is Vertebral Augmentation?

Also known as percutaneous vertebroplasty, vertebral augmentation is done in one of two ways.

The first is kyphoplasty, where a surgeon inserts a balloon into the spine and then adds cement. When you receive the procedure, the surgeon will give you a sedative (typically a mild one) and then apply an anesthetic to your back. The surgeon then takes an X-ray of your spine, makes an incision near the affected area, and inserts a tube. The tube lets the surgeon place a balloon in the spine. When inflated, this introduces a cavity within the vertebrae. However, the balloon doesn’t stay. After forming the cavity, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it. They will next pour a specialized type of cement known as polymethylacrylate into the cavity to maintain it. This surgery may take one hour or more, depending on how many vertebrae require treatment. Surgeons work carefully, repairing one vertebra approximately every 60 minutes.

In the second procedure, known as a vertebroplasty, the surgeon does not use a balloon. Instead, they insert the cement straight into the fractured spinal vertebrae. The cement goes into a needle placed precisely into the targeted area.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Vertebral Augmentation?

Although it is a spinal procedure, both forms of vertebral augmentation are minimally invasive. In fact, you may even be able to go home the same day you receive the procedure.

You may experience some soreness and discomfort around the incision or injection area, but it should be mild at best. That said, your surgeon may prescribe you a pain reliever or recommend over-the-counter painkillers. The discomfort should decrease within the next several days.

While you won’t have to spend weeks in bed, you should take it easy for several weeks. Your surgeon will advise when to resume daily activities like exercise or heavy lifting.

Vertebral Augmentations at Freedom Spine & Pain Center

Schedule a consultation with the experts at Freedom Spine & Pain Center, serving Boerne, San Antonio, and Kerrville, TX, to determine if you’re a candidate for vertebral augmentation. Use our online contact form or call 210-920-8945 today!