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Acta Orthop Belg. 2011 Jun;77(3):371-4.

Balloon kyphoplasty: scintigraphy as the ultimate decision maker?

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2nd Department of Radiology, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.


Balloon kyphoplasty is still controversial as a treatment for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) due to osteoporosis. Nevertheless, the authors conducted a prospective study in 60 patients about the effectiveness of scintigraphy, after the conventional roentgenographic examination, as an ultimate decision maker for the identification of the levels to be treated. Seventy-one levels were radiographically and scintigraphically positive, were seen as active, and thus treated. Thirty-seven levels were radiographically negative but positive scintigraphically, were considered as imminent fractures, and thus treated. Ten levels were positive radiographically, but negative scintigraphically, and were not treated as they were considered as healed. The Oswestry Disability Score (100% = worst possible condition) improved from 38.8% +/- 39.5% at baseline, to 2.38% +/- 3.99% on the first postoperative day (p < 0.001), to 2.00% +/- 3.40% at 1 month (p < 0.001) and to 1.93% +/- 3.33% at 6 months (p < 0.001). This preliminary study gives a hint that scintigraphy might work as the ultimate decision maker, even when plain radiographs are negative. Further studies will be needed to compare patients with VCFs positive radiographically and scintigraphically, and other patients with VCFs negative radiographically, but positive scintigraphically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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