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Eur Spine J. 2011 Aug;20(8):1259-64. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-1692-y. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

Comparison of inpatient treatment costs after balloon kyphoplasty and non-surgical treatment of vertebral body compression fractures.

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Institute for Musculoskeletal Analysis, Research and Therapy, Piaristengasse 2-4, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


We performed an analysis of following costs after primary conservative or operative treatment with balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) in osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Patients with primary osteoporotic vertebral fractures treated with BKP or conservatively from discharge year 2002-2005 were retrospectively assessed regarding the following hospital treatment in any hospital in Austria from 2002 to 2006. A statistical record linkage between the hospital data and the mortality registry of Statistic Austria was performed. The data search was restricted to ICD-10 and procedures according to the Austrian catalogue of procedures defined as "spine relevant". Number of readmissions, length of hospital stay and DRG related costs were calculated for the surgical and conservative group separately. 324.5 years (mean 2.93 ± 1.40, conservative group) and 343.6 (mean 2.56 ± 0.96, BKP group) of 110 conservative patients and 134 BKP patients were analyzed. There was no statistical difference of the mortality rate with 9 patients (6.7%, BKP) and 11 patients (9.9%, conservative). The number of readmissions was 1.62 times higher (P = 0.039), the length of stay 1.09 times higher (P = 0.046) in the conservative group. No difference in the DRG scores were found (P = 0.11). In conclusion, patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures showed in the following years after BKP fewer hospital readmissions and shorter hospital stays but no difference in DRG scores in comparison to conservatively treated patients.

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