Vertebroplasty provides pain relief and better quality of life at long-term follow-up

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When other medical treatments failed, patients properly selected for vertebroplasty reported their symptoms improved dramatically after undergoing the procedure. Many of them experienced continued improvements in symptoms through an average 31 months postoperative, according to results of a study conducted by Italian investigators.

Interventional radiologist Giovanni C. Anselmetti, MD, of the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Turin, Italy, and colleagues performed vertebroplasty in 1,542 patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Patients selected did not respond to prior traditional treatment, including bisphosphonates, analgesics and bracing.

“Vertebroplasty dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedure, provides long-term pain relief and has a low complication rate, as demonstrated in multiple studies,” Anselmetti stated in a Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) press release.

Pain reduction

Results of Anselmetti’s study were recently presented at the SIR 35th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Average pretreatment 11-point Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores of 8.2 points dropped to 1.1 points following treatment in about 97% of patients.

Patients completed the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) before and after vertebroplasty to assess their ability to perform daily activities. Their average scores ODQ scores of about 69% improved to about 18%.

Long-term results reported

Among the 1,017 patients with long-term follow-up, there was a significant drop in VAS scores from about 8 points to 1.3 points. Of the 757 individuals wearing a brace, 683 of them could stop wearing it following their vertebroplasty procedure.

A randomized study comparing the technique with conventional care is needed, Anselmetti, an interventional radiologist, noted.

“For the best results, collaboration between physicians is mandatory. All osteoporotic patients need to be followed by an interventional radiologist, who determines which patients are appropriate candidates to receive vertebroplasty treatment, and an experienced medical expert (in this study, a rheumatologist) to ensure continued treatment for osteoporosis,” he stated.

Reference:Anselmetti GC, Manca A, Chiara G, et al. Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) in the osteoporotic patients: Optimal indications and patient selection to improve clinical outcome: Personal experience in 1,542 patients over seven years’ experience. Abstract #16. Presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology 35th Annual Scientific Meeting. March 13, 2010. Tampa, Fla.

Source: OrthoSuperSite

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