[Vertebroplasty in the treatment of back pain]

Radiologe. 2006 Jun;46(6):495-505. doi: 10.1007/s00117-006-1382-7.
[Article in German]


Background: Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) represents a minimally invasive option which is gaining in importance for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCF) and osteolysis of the spine. This article describes the indications for its use, peri-interventional imaging, technique, and results of PVP.

Material and methods: The current guidelines for performance of PVP are explained in accordance with the "Interdisciplinary Consensus Paper on Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty" of the German Professional Associations and the 2005 CIRSE Guidelines. The results of our own study carried out in 2002 are compared to the complication rates and clinical outcomes reported in the literature.

Results: Painful osteoporotic VCF and osteolysis within the vertebral body due to metastases and multiple myeloma are indications for PVP. Absolute contraindications are, in particular, asymptomatic VCF, alleviation of pain by drug treatment, therapy-refractory coagulopathies, allergies to cement components, and active infections. MRI or CT is indicated before undertaking PVP to assess the fracture age, to exclude other causes of pain, and to evaluate the posterior edge of the vertebral body. High-quality mono- or biplanar fluoroscopy--preferably in combination with CT (fluoroscopy)--is necessary for PVP to minimize the risk of cement leakage. A clear reduction in pain [mean reduction of 6.1 points (VAS)] is achieved in 86-92% of the patients with PVP. Our own study treating 58 patients (mean follow-up 323+/-99 days) revealed a clear alleviation of pain in 77% [-5.7 points (VAS)].

Conclusion: PVP constitutes a safe and effective minimally invasive treatment approach to stabilize and reduce acute and chronic back pain due to osteoporotic VCF and tumor-associated osteolysis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Bone Cements / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Laminectomy / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Spinal Cord Compression / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Compression / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bone Cements