Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: complementary techniques for the treatment of painful osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. A prospective non-randomised study on 154 patients

Eur Spine J. 2009 Jun;18 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):95-101. doi: 10.1007/s00586-009-0986-9. Epub 2009 May 13.


In a prospective study, we aimed to evaluate the potential use of kyphoplasty (KP) and vertebroplasty (VP) as complementary techniques in the treatment of painful osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). After 1 month of conservative treatment for VCFs, patients with intractable pain were offered treatment with KP or VP according to a treatment algorithm that considers time from fracture (Delta t) and amount of vertebral body collapse. Bone biopsy was obtained intra-operatively to exclude patients affected by malignancy or osteomalacia. 164 patients were included according to the above criteria. Mean age was 67.6 years. Mean follow-up was 33 months. 10 patients (6.1%) were lost to follow-up and 154 reached the minimum 2-year follow-up. 118 (69.5%) underwent VP and 36 (30.5%) underwent KP. Complications affected five patients treated with VP, whose one suffered a transient intercostal neuropathy and four a subsequent VCF (two at adjacent level). Results in terms of visual analogue scale and Oswestry scores were not different among treatment groups. In conclusion, at an average follow-up of almost 3 years from surgical treatment of osteoporotic VCFs, VP and KP show similar good clinical outcomes and appear to be complementary techniques with specific different indications.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Back Pain / etiology
  • Back Pain / pathology
  • Back Pain / surgery
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cohort Studies
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / complications*
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spinal Fractures / etiology*
  • Spinal Fractures / pathology
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / pathology
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebroplasty / methods*
  • Vertebroplasty / statistics & numerical data