Vertebroplasty: a systematic approach

Pain Physician. 2007 Mar;10(2):367-80.


Background: Though vertebroplasty is a well-known and extremely effective procedure in experienced hands, it is a much more difficult procedure to learn than standard spinal pain injection procedures. We therefore present a simplified, methodical approach to vertebroplasty that can be adopted by trained interventionalists. Many practitioners who attend hands-on cadaver workshops lack confidence to apply this technique in live patients.

Objectives: To present a methodical, reproducible, and proven technique. To provide strategies on pre-procedure and post-procedure care in order to optimize outcomes in vertebroplasty patients.

Study design: A step-by-step tutorial is presented outlining the steps in the vertebroplasty procedure. A discussion of anatomic considerations, pre-procedure patient selection issues, and post-procedure management is also presented.

Methods: Sections are presented on anatomy, patient selection, a 10-step technique on performance of vertebroplasty, a discussion of how this technique is advantageous, and post-procedure management.

Results: This technique has been proven in clinical practice for over 1,500 vertebroplasties and has been well-received the past 4 years by hundreds of trainees taught at numerous hands-on courses (Stryker Interventional Pain, Arthrocare, and Society of Interventional Radiology).

Conclusion: A basic tutorial is presented for the beginner who is interested in vertebroplasty. This safe and reproducible technique has been proven in clinical practice. The anatomic considerations, patient selection issues, technique, and post-procedure management has been taught and well received by hundreds of physicians at numerous hands on courses within the United States and Canada.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Cements / therapeutic use*
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Fracture Fixation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional / methods
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Radiology, Interventional / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Spine


  • Bone Cements