Several authors claim that vertebroplasty (PVT) is a successful technique, but long-term effectiveness is still debated. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of PVT in patients with symptomatic vertebral fractures that had not responded to conservative treatment. In our centre, 624 patients with 1,253 compression fractures were treated by PVT. Imaging studies, clinical visits and short- and long-term follow-up were assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) testing of pain. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate pain response after PVT (paired two-tailed t-test) and to assess any differences in pain due to different lesions (ANOVA test). We found a statistically significant improvement in the patients' quality of life, particularly in pain (P < 0.001). The average VAS value pre-PVT was 8.0 +/- 2.5, which significantly dropped to 1.5 +/- 0.4 by 12 months. There were no significant differences in pain response between the groups of patients with different underlying disease. There was a low complication rate in our study. PVT should be considered the treatment of choice in vertebral fractures with refractory pain. With strict evaluation of the clinical indications and sub-specialised operators, long-term effectiveness is probable.