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Br Med Bull. 2012 Jun;102:171-89. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldr048. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Osteoporotic vertebral fractures: current concepts of conservative care.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Biomedico University, Trigoria Rome, Italy.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are a growing public health problem with important socio-economic effects in western countries. In the USA, 10 million people over 50 suffer from osteoporosis. In these patients, 1.5 million annual fractures have been registered, and 50% of these are vertebral compression.

SOURCES OF DATA:

We performed a comprehensive search of PubMed, Medline, Cochrane, CINAHL and Embase databases using various combinations of the keywords 'osteoporosis', 'vertebral compression fractures', 'brace', 'bracing', 'orthosis', 'conservative management' and 'rehabilitation' over the years 1966-2011. All articles relevant to the subject were retrieved, and their bibliographies were hand searched for further references in the context of conservative management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

AREAS OF AGREEMENT:

Conservative management for patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures includes bed rest, pain medication, physiotherapy and bracing.

AREAS OF CONTROVERSY:

A conservative management for patients with osteoporotic VCFs s has not been standardized. The utility of vertebral augmentation techniques has been questioned by recent randomized controlled trials.

GROWING POINTS:

Randomized controlled trials are being performed worldwide on vertebral augmentation techniques.

AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH:

Although spinal orthoses are commonly used for the management of patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures, in the literature there is only one randomized controlled trial on bracing for this condition. While the best conservative management for subjects with osteoporotic VCFs s is not defined and standardized, no conclusions on the superiority of vertebral augmentation techniques over conservative management can be drawn.

PMID:
22130906
DOI:
10.1093/bmb/ldr048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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