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Biomaterials. 2006 Jan;27(3):290-301. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Anterior spinal column augmentation with injectable bone cements.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.


A vertebral fracture, whether originating from osteoporosis or trauma, can be the cause of pain, disability, deformation and neurological deficit. The treatment of vertebral compression fractures has, for many years until the advent of vertebroplasty, consisted of bedrest and analgesics. Vertebroplasty is a percutaneous technique during which bone cement is injected in a vertebral body to provide immediate pain relief by stabilization. Inflatable bone tamps can, prior to the injection of cement, be used to create a void in the vertebral body, in which case the technique is known as balloon vertebroplasty (or kyphoplasty). The chance of extracorporal cement leakage is smaller for balloon vertebroplasty than for vertebroplasty. Some authors also claim to have gained some correction in vertebral body height or angulation. Both interventions can be used for several indications, including osteoporotic compression fractures and osteolytic lesions of the vertebral body such as myeloma, hemangioma or metastasis, and also for traumatic burst fractures in combination with pedicle screw instrumentation. Polymethyl methacrylate cement is the bone void filler that is used most frequently, although the application of calcium phosphate cements has been studied widely in vitro, in vivo and also in small-scale clinical series. The clinical results of (balloon-) vertebroplasty are favorable with 85-95% of all patients experiencing immediate and long-lasting relief of pain. Serious complications are relatively rare but include neurological deficit and pulmonary embolism. In this paper, both vertebroplasty and balloon vertebroplasty and their respective indications, techniques and results are described in relation with the application and limitations of permanent and resorbable injectable bone cements.

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