When is percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) indicated?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: Gaurav Gupta, MD; Chief Editor: Justin A Siegal, MD  more...
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Indications for percutaneous vertebroplasty include painful, non-healing osteoporotic or neoplastic vertebral compression fractures refractory to medical therapy. When these conditions result in loss of normal vertebral body height, balloon kyphoplasty or vertebral augmentation with implants such as Stryker’s SpineJack system can be utilized in order restore normal vertebral alignment while also treating pain.

For patients that may not be candidates for vertebroplasty (see Contraindications) or choose to not pursue invasive treatment, medical management options are available. Medical treatment of compression fractures consists of bed rest, pain control with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, calcitonin, narcotics, and external bracing. Patients whose compression fractures fail to heal after completion of the aforementioned conservative regimen over a course of 3–6 weeks should be considered for vertebroplasty.

Patients without fractures but pain resulting from lytic metastatic neoplasm or rare symptomatic hemangioma are also candidates for vertebroplasty.

Vertebroplasty can also be performed prophylactically to stabilize a weakened vertebra before a planned surgery.

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