The bone cement techniques can be "phenomenal aids" for back pain, says Dr. Wade Wong, an interventional radiologist at the University of California in San Diego/Thornton Hospital.
"I saw a person on Tuesday in incredible back pain.He
came in through the emergency room and could not turn over."An hour after a vertebroplasy, the patient "was up and walking. . . . It makes very dramatic changes in people's lives."
However, vertebroplasty may help even with extremely old, unhealed fractures, Wong
says.One patient, he
recalls, had had two vertebrae broken decades ago when a tank rolled over him and had never properly healed."This guy had been havingchronic back pain since World War II," Wong
says.Vertebroplasty immediately "took away his