Using a special x-ray machine, a bone needle is guided through the skin and into the fractured vertebra. A cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate acrylic cement (PMMA) is injected into the vertebra. The needle is removed and the cement hardens, stabilizing the vertebra.
Update Date 7/13/2015
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.