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SIR: Osteoporotic Fracture Vertebroplasty Promising

Minimally invasive treatment reduces pain and provides sustained benefits

WEDNESDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Vertebroplasty can dramatically reduce pain and provide sustained benefits to patients with osteoporotic spinal fractures, according to a paper presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology this week in Washington, D.C.

Giovanni C. Anselmetti, M.D., of the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Turin, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study of 884 osteoporosis patients who underwent vertebroplasty, which entailed injection of medical-grade bone cement into a fractured vertebra, effectively forming an internal cast and providing pain relief.

The patients completed the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire before and one month after vertebroplasty, and the scores changed from an average of 69.3 percent to an average 18.8 percent. The researchers also found the procedure did not increase the risk of fracture in nearby vertebra.

"These data provide good news for physicians and osteoporosis patients. Many osteoporosis patients with compression fractures are in terrible pain and have greatly diminished ability to perform basic daily activities, such as dressing themselves," said Anselmetti, in a statement. "Osteoporosis patients who have persistent spinal pain lasting more than three months should consult an interventional radiologist, and those who require constant narcotic pain relief should see help immediately," he added.

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