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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2009 Mar;91(3):379-84. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.91B3.20970.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: evaluation after 36 months.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


In a prospective study between August 2002 and August 2005, we studied the quantitative clinical and radiological outcome 36 months after percutaneous vertebroplasty for intractable type-II osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures which had been unresponsive to conservative treatment for at least eight weeks. We also examined the quality of life (QoL). The clinical follow-up involved the use of a pain intensity numerical rating scale (PI-NRS, 0 to 10), the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) QoL questionnaire and an anamnestic questionnaire before and at seven days (PI-NRS only), and one, three, 12 and 36 months post-operatively. A total of 30 consecutive patients received percutaneous vertebroplasty for 62 vertebral compression fractures with a mean time between fracture and treatment of 7.7 months (2.2 to 39). An immediate, significant and lasting reduction in the average and worst back pain was found, represented by a decrease of 3.1 and 2.7 points after seven days and 3.1 and 2.8 points after 36 months, respectively (p < 0.00). Comparison of the pre- and post-vertebroplasty scores on the various SF-36 domains showed an ultimate significant increase in six of eight domains and both summary scores. Asymptomatic leakage of cement was found in 47 of 58 (81%) of treated vertebrae. Two minor complications occurred, an asymptomatic pulmonary cement embolism and a cement spur along the needle track. Percutaneous vertebroplasty in the treatment of chronic vertebral compression fractures results in an immediate, significant and lasting reduction in back pain, and overall improvement in physical and mental health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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