Balloon Kyphoplasty Found to Be Safe, Effective

Swiss spine registry deems the procedure worthy of insurance coverage

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- According to a Swiss registry designed to collect evidence on the safety and effectiveness of spinal treatments, balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) is both safe and effective and warrants coverage under basic health insurance; the research has been published in the November issue of The Spine Journal.

Peter Diel, M.D., of the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed outcomes data on 320 patients who underwent BKP to assemble a health technology registry by which the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health could make decisions about reimbursement for those interventions.

Following intervention, patients and surgeons reported significant and clinical reductions in back pain, better quality of life (QoL), and lessened consumption of painkillers. The majority of patients experienced improvement of preoperative segmental kyphosis. The study results led to coverage of the procedure under basic health insurance.

"BKP is a safe and effective treatment concerning pain reduction, QoL improvement, and painkiller consumption. The SWISSspine registry proved to be an excellent tool for evaluation of this new technology, and its results, in combination with an elaborate health technology assessment report, led to a permanent coverage of BKP by the basic health insurance," the authors write.

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