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Eur Spine J. 2012 Sep;21(9):1826-43. Epub 2012 Apr 29.

Comparing effects of kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty, and non-surgical management in a systematic review of randomized and non-randomized controlled studies.

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, NeuroOncology Program and Department of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedics, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL, 33647, USA.



To determine if differences in safety or efficacy exist between balloon kyphoplasty (BKP), vertebroplasty (VP) and non-surgical management (NSM) for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs).


As of February 1, 2011, a PubMed search (key words: kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty) resulted in 1,587 articles out of which 27 met basic selection criteria (prospective multiple-arm studies with cohorts of ≥ 20 patients). This systematic review adheres to preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.


Pain reduction in both BKP (-5.07/10 points, P < 0.01) and VP (-4.55/10, P < 0.01) was superior to that for NSM (-2.17/10), while no difference was found between BKP/VP (P = 0.35). Subsequent fractures occurred more frequently in the NSM group (22 %) compared with VP (11 %, P = 0.04) and BKP (11 %, P = 0.01). BKP resulted in greater kyphosis reduction than VP (4.8º vs. 1.7°, P < 0.01). Quality of life (QOL) improvement showed superiority of BKP over VP (P = 0.04), along with a trend for disability improvement (P = 0.08). Cement extravasation was less frequent in the BKP (P = 0.01). Surgical intervention within the first 7 weeks yielded greater pain reduction than VCFs treated later.


BKP/VP provided greater pain relief and fewer subsequent fractures than NSM in osteoporotic VCFs. BKP is marginally favored over VP in disability improvement, and significantly favored in QOL improvement. BKP had a lower risk of cement extravasation and resulted in greater kyphosis correction. Despite this analysis being restricted to Level I and II studies, significant heterogeneity suggests that the current literature is delivering inconsistent messages and further trials are needed to delineate confounding variables.

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