Before the injection procedure begins, topical anesthesia is applied to the skin. Next, in order to prevent healthy nerve roots from being exposed to too much medication, the physician will use imaging technology such as fluoroscopy to guide the insertion of the needle and to confirm its correct placement in the epidural space. In addition, contrast dye is typically injected in order to observe where the medication will be administered and to ensure that it will be properly distributed throughout the targets areas. The administration of steroids and an anesthetic such as Lidocaine directly onto the nerves roots results in dramatic or complete pain relief. The steroid decreases inflammation, while the anesthetic disrupts pain signal transmission.
In many cases, vertebral fractures can be treated through conservative methods such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication. However, patients with osteoporosis or whose fractures have caused severe, long-term pain may benefit from a minimally invasive procedure such as vertebroplasty to relieve symptoms. This procedure is also recommended for patients who are too weak to undergo spinal surgery, or have a malignant tumor within the spine that has caused vertebral damage. Vertebroplasty is most effective when performed on fractures that are less than six months old.
The results of anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion surgery in the treatment of symptomatic, progressive, cervical spinal stenosis and myelopathy are generally good. The surgery serves to improve pain and function and prevent further neurologic deterioration and paralysis. Numerous research studies in medical journals demonstrate greater than 80-91% good or excellent results from anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion surgery. The fusion rate is significantly improved with the use of a small titanium plate, and typically obviates the need for a halo postoperatively. Most patients are noted to have gradual improvement of their pain and function following surgery.