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Long-Term Results of Kyphoplasty for Vertebral Compression Fractures

Posted on: 09/21/2006
In this study results of kyphoplasty for patients with vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are reported from 19 treatment centers. It is the first multicenter study to report short and long-term effects of this procedure for osteoporotic fractures in older adults.

Balloon kyphoplasty is done by inserting a long, thin needle into the fractured and compressed vertebral body. A deflated balloon is passed through the needle and inflated inside the bone. A special cement fills the balloon, hardens, and restores the bone height.

Results were very positive in this study. Highly debilitated patients had quick pain relief and improved in function. Improvements were still present at the follow-up two years later. Quality of life (QOL) was greatly improved as patients were able to get out of bed and resume normal activities. X-rays also confirmed improved height of the bone.

The authors conclude that balloon kyphoplasty is safe and effective. Results are quick and last long-term. Kyphoplasty may not protect patients from future VCFs. Patients still need to be monitored and treated for risk factors that could lead to further fractures.

Steven R. Garfin, MD, et al. Balloon Kyphoplasty for Symptomatic Vertebral Body Compression Fractures Results in Rapid, Significant, and Sustained Improvements in Back Pain, Function, and Quality of Life for Elderly Patients. In Spine. September 1, 2006. Vol. 31. No. 19. Pp. 2213-2220.

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