Percutaneous vertebral augmentation is a mouthful, but because of incredible advances in medical technology, it is a relatively simple procedure that has the potential to almost instantly stabilize and relieve the pain of a broken back due to osteoporosis or trauma.
With sophisticated imaging technology, surgeons are able to use this minimally invasive procedure to relieve pain and stabilize a broken vertebra in the spine by injecting a cement-like mixture through a small opening in the skin.
This is so new, though, that among medical professionals, the jury has been out on this procedure. That is, until now. Dr. Philip Meyers is co-author* of an evidence-based position statement advocating the procedure. This is a joint effort by leaders in the fields of neurosurgery and radiology, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), of which Dr. Meyers is president, and is published in the December, 2013 edition of the Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology.
Dr. Meyers is also co-author of a companion paper, Vertebral augmentation: report of the Standards and Guidelines Committee of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery by Chandra RV et al., that provides best practices for this procedure. Like the first paper, it is a multi-disciplinary document written by radiologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons who perform these procedures. You can find this article in the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery (read more here).
With the recommendations put forth in these two papers, percutaneous vertebral augmentation is likely to be performed more widely and with better technique in the coming years, to the benefit of many.
You can read the full position statement online here in the Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology.
*Co-authors include: Barr JD, Jensen ME, Hirsch JA, McGraw JK, Barr RM, Brook AL, Meyers PM, Munk PL, Murphy KJ, O’Toole JE, Rasmussen PA, Ryken TC, Sanelli PC, Schwartzberg MS, Seidenwurm D, Tutton SM, Zoarski GH, Kuo MD, Rose SC, Cardella JF.
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