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Vertebroplasty Found Beneficial for Fracture Pain Control

Osteoporotic compression fracture pain control better than with conservative treatment

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Pain control with percutaneous vertebroplasty is superior to pain control with conservative management for acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, according to research published online Aug. 10 in The Lancet.

Caroline A.H. Klazen, M.D., of the St. Elisabeth Ziekenhuis in Tilburg, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted an open-label prospective randomized trial of 431 patients aged 50 and older with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, back pain for six weeks or less, and a visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score of five or more. Patients were allocated to either percutaneous vertebroplasty or conservative treatment; the measured outcomes were pain relief at one month and one year as measured by VAS score.

The researchers found that both the vertebroplasty group and the conservative-treatment group had decreases in pain scores at one month (VAS, −5.2 and −2.7, respectively) and at one year (VAS, −5.7 and −3.7, respectively). The difference between the groups in reduction of mean VAS scores was significant at both one month and one year. There were no serious adverse events reported.

"In a subgroup of patients with acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures and persistent pain, percutaneous vertebroplasty is effective and safe. Pain relief after vertebroplasty is immediate, is sustained for at least a year, and is significantly greater than that achieved with conservative treatment, at an acceptable cost," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Cook Medical.

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