Vertebral bodies and sacral fractures

UCSF Radiologist Dr. Hess describes how medical imaging can be used for back pain reduction, treat vertebral bodies and sacral fractures.


In this picture, the vertebral body has abnormal signal in it so it shows that it is compressed so it is a fracture. It can be harder to see on the MRI, but rather easy to see on the plain X-ray. We like to do combined CT/fluoroscopic technique and the reason is that the CT will allow doctors put larger bore needles more accurately in the vertebral body. Doctors will then move the fluoroscopy when the cement is injected so they can watch the cement fill the vertebral body in real time.  This procedure is just not for vertebral bodies, but also sacral fractures. 


Alexander R. Margulis Distinguished Professor and Chair
Professor and Chair

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