Percutaneous vertebroplasty
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Percutaneous vertebroplasty

Debra Larsen Acute pain nurse, Pain Management Services, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Healthcare Trust, Exeter, Devon

Percutaneous vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to stabilise vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, haemangioma, myeloma, metastases and bone cysts. Acrylic bone cement is injected into the vertebral body to relieve pain and structurally reinforce the fracture. Interest in percutaneous vertebroplasty has grown as a result of technical procedural advances in radiology and the publication of an appraisal of, and guidelines for, the procedure by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2003). Nurses should be aware of the potential benefits of vertebroplasty and be involved in patient selection, and care of the patient before, during and after the procedure. Nurses should also be involved in audit analysis of the results of the procedure. More research into the effects of vertebroplasty is required and should involve nurses caring for this patient group.

Nursing Standard. 18, 31,33-37. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.04.18.31.33.c3588