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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2012 Feb;94(2):152-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.94B2.26894.

Conservative management of patients with an osteoporotic vertebral fracture: a review of the literature.

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Campus Bio-medico University, Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Via Alvaro del Portillo 200, 00128 Trigoria Rome, Italy.


Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are an increasing public health problem. Recently, randomised controlled trials on the use of kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty in the treatment of these fractures have been published, but no definitive conclusions have been reached on the role of these interventions. The major problem encountered when trying to perform a meta-analysis of the available studies for the use of cementoplasty in patients with a VCF is that conservative management has not been standardised. Forms of conservative treatment commonly used in these patients include bed rest, analgesic medication, physiotherapy and bracing. In this review, we report the best evidence available on the conservative care of patients with osteoporotic VCFs and associated back pain, focusing on the role of the most commonly used spinal orthoses. Although orthoses are used for the management of these patients, to date, there has been only one randomised controlled trial published evaluating their value. Until the best conservative management for patients with VCFs is defined and standardised, no conclusions can be drawn on the superiority or otherwise of cementoplasty techniques over conservative management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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