Vertebroplasty - advice please


I was wondering about other people’s experience of vertebroplasty.

I’ve had bone mets for seven years now and whilst they were stable and didn’t cause many problems during first five, during the last two they have progressed causing an increasing amount of pain. A recent MRI scan showed significant disease throughout my spine with collapse of T12, L1 and L2. My oncologist referred me to a orthopaedic spinal surgeon and he’s offered me vertebroplasty, initially in that region and possibly in others if I get a good result. I’m due to have it done next Friday.

The surgeon was very confident that I was a good candidate and even said he’d be willing to consider more major surgery in the future. I felt OK about the idea at first, but now I’m feeling a bit wobbly. I’d not heard of vertebroplasty before and I’m now wondering why it’s not more common.

Any comments, reasurring or otherwise, would be gratefully received!

Hi Judith

I’ve had one - check my profile. Yes it’s painful for a while, but thank god i’m not paralysed - which is what would have happened if i hadn’t had the op. I’m sure they must have told you the possible outcome for you, if you do not proceed with the procedure.

I am really pleased I had one - please pm me for more details.

Sorry i was so late replying but i’ve only just seen your post

Hi Celeste

Thanks for the message. I’ve looked at your profile but can’t see any details, not quite sure what I’m doing wrong.

I’m having the vertebroplasty done tomorrow and, although I’m feeling a bit nervous I know it’s the right thing to do and that my oncologist and orthopaedic surgeon wouldn’t be suggesting the procedure if they didn’t think it was worthwhile.

I hadn’t heard of anyone having this done before my onc mentioned it. Curious to know why it’s not more common, especially as surgeon expects good results, and is willing to inject other areas in the future. He even mentioned the possibility of having more major surgery done at a later date.

Will pm you soon.
Best wishes

Hi Judith

I’ve pm’d you.

Hi Judith, i just wondered how you got on with your new treatment. i am intersted to know how you are as I too have secondary bone cancer and have been having varius treatment s for the passed ten years. I hope all is well. Look forward to hearing from you when you are well enough that is. Love Val


I had the vertebroplasty done last Friday and I’m feeling well and cautiously optimistic that it’s a success. The surgeon injected cement into six areas in thoracic/lumbar region. The only evidence is small scabs and some bruising. So far, so good and my spine feels much stronger and supported - I even went shopping for a short while yesterday and was able to walk and stand with very little discomfort, something I couldn’t have done last week! My surgeon told me some people perform the procedure under local anaesthetic he prefers to give a general - think I agree, the coward in me preferred to be asleep. I stayed in hospital overnight and have to say I was extremely happy with the care and attention I received by all the staff involved - good old NHS!
Hope all is well with you.

Thanks for your message, I’ll be in touch soon.

Love Judith

I’m seeing consultant tomorrow with option of having it done in the afternoon if we are all in agreement.
Can anyone who has had it done give me any hints/tips/experiences/questions I should be asking?
I’m quite calm about it at the mo, at least!!
Thanks a lot,

Lizcat, Late last night I PMd a couple of people to ask them to look at your post above. I do not know if they have seen my messages yet. I wonder if they Pm’d you? All the best for tomorrow. I will look out for an update after your appointment. Wishing you all the best and a huge hug, V

Thanks Val. Have posted on fb but basically not had vertebroplasty done as consultant said it wouldn’t be appropriate at this stage as my bones are actually not too bad and don’t look like they are liable to fracture or collapse. He’d only looked at the recent scans and not compared them to earlier ones. When he did this he said my bones looked quite good considering I was 5 years on and that my onc may just give a rads blast to T9 again and discuss what to do with new areas but possibly just tweek meds. So came home reassured in that odd way only those with mets can understand!!! I do so hope you will have something sorted this week.
Love and a big, gentle hug xxx

saw your post regarding vertebroplasty.
know it was a while ago just wondered how it went.
jacky (fairly new user to site)

HI, I’ve just found this thread and thought I would update with my experience for anyone else offered this surgery, my T6 had ‘wedged’ before DX and even though the bones are ‘stable’ T6 collapsed a little bit more so I was referred to a surgeon. The surgeon suggest vertebroplasty and on the morning of the surgery they decided to do T7 as well as it was looking a bit dodgy too. Thankfully I had general (always take full sensory deprevation if there is an option) and it was a good job as it took them 3 hours to get the needle into the bone to inject the cement, having been on zometa for 18 months the bones though ‘honeycomb’ like they were strong.
I’m glad I had it done as the bone won’t collapse now (they didn’t do T7 in the end) but I am in more pain than I was before. If you have been on biosphonates then make sure they realise that as it does effect things, the surgeons said in retrospect they would have drilled the needle in instead of hammering (see what I mean about needing general). I will have it again if needed so am absolutely not put off!
They also think the cancer in my bones is thickening them instead of thinning them so again this is probably a factor in the issues experienced.