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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2002 Sep;13(9 Pt 1):883-6.

Prospective evaluation of pain relief in 100 patients undergoing percutaneous vertebroplasty: results and follow-up.

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Department of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43214, USA.



To determine the efficacy and durability of percutaneous vertebroplasty for the treatment of back pain associated with vertebral body compression fractures.


One hundred patients (79 women, 21 men; mean age, 73.7 y) underwent 156 percutaneous injections of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) into a vertebra (68 thoracic and 88 lumbar) under fluoroscopic guidance over a 35-month period. Before the procedure and at follow-up, patients were asked to quantify their pain on a visual analog scale (VAS) and complete a follow-up questionnaire of our own design.


The procedure was technically successful in all patients. There were two complications. One patient sustained a sternal fracture and one experienced a transient radiculopathy. Ninety-seven patients (97%) reported significant pain relief 24 hours after treatment. Mean follow-up duration was 21.5 months (6-44 mo) in 99 patients. Ninety-two patients (93%) reported significant improvement in back pain previously associated with their compression fractures as well as improved ambulatory ability. Before vertebroplasty, the VAS score for the 99 patients was 8.91 +/- 1.12 compared to a score of 2.02 +/- 1.95 at follow-up. The mean difference in VAS scores was significant (P <.0001).


Percutaneous vertebroplasty of symptomatic vertebral body compression fractures is a minimally invasive procedure that provides immediate and sustained pain relief in patients with refractory pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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