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Vertebroplasty - Bellevue Medical Center

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Posted 10/13/2014

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Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure that can quickly repair spinal fractures often caused by osteoporosis or "soft bones." Bellevue Medical Center radiologist Dr. Jim Smith explains how the procedure can be done quickly and with very little pain. The results can be dramatic.

"Some patients get relief to the point that they can move from prescription pain medicine, to something over-the-counter; or maybe they won't need any medicine at all."

The procedure is done with a patient lying face down. The doctor uses x-ray to guide a small needle to the point of the fracture. A medical cement is then injected into the fracture, repairing it.

Dr. Smith says in years past, people would have to live with the pain caused by these fractures. With vertebroplasty, many patients are now able to regain function they thought was lost forever.

While it's primarily a procedure performed on older women, these types of spinal fractures can strike at any age.

Bellevue Medical Center prides itself on quick vertebroplasty treatment. Patients can often have the procedure done right away or with minimal waiting.

For more information about Bellevue Medical Center, visit

Music credit: "You Will Know" by Kevin MacLeod at