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J Rheumatol. 1999 Oct;26(10):2222-8.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty in the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: an open prospective study.

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Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Lille, France.



To assess the efficacy and safety of percutaneous vertebroplasty in osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures responsible for severe and persistent pain.


Sixteen patients were included in this open prospective study. Inclusion criteria were: one or 2 vertebral fractures responsible for severe pain, i.e., higher than 50 mm on a visual analog scale (VAS: 0-100 mm), scores 3, 4 or 5 according to the McGill-Melzack scoring system, and evolving for more than 3 months. Assessment criteria were the changes over time (Days 3, 30, 90, 180) in VAS and McGill-Melzack scoring system. The changes over time in a generic health status instrument score [the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP)] were also assessed. Statistical comparisons were performed using the Wilcoxon T test.


There were 9 women and 7 men: postmenopausal osteoporosis (n = 7), corticosteroid induced osteoporosis (n = 2), and male osteoporosis (n = 7). Vertebroplasty was performed in 20 vertebrae. A statistically significant decrease of both VAS (-53%, p < 0.0005) and McGill-Melzack scoring system (p < 0.005) was observed at Day 3. The results were also significant at Days 30, 90, and 180 for both scales (p < 0.005 and p < 0.01, respectively). A significant decrease over time for 5/6 dimensions of the NHP score was also noted: pain (p < 0.01), physical mobility (p < 0.05), emotional reactions (p < 0.05), social isolation (p < 0.05), and energy (p < 0.05). We observed no adverse event, and no vertebral fracture has occurred after 6 months of followup.


Percutaneous vertebroplasty is a useful and safe procedure for treating persistent painful osteoporotic fractures. Controlled studies with longterm followup are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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