Does timing matter in performing kyphoplasty? Acute versus chronic compression fractures

Acta Orthop Belg. 2009 Jun;75(3):396-404.


The objective of this prospective consecutive cohort study was to compare the clinical outcomes, the radiographic outcomes and the complication rates of symptomatic acute (< 10 weeks) and chronic (> 16 weeks) osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) treated with kyphoplasty. Twenty-eight consecutive patients had 52 symptomatic osteoporotic VCFs treated with kyphoplasty; 5 of these patients were treated in two sessions. The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for back pain, a Visual Analog Scale for pain assessment, a patients' satisfaction scale, and medication usage served to evaluate the clinical outcomes. All these variables improved significantly in both groups, and more so in the acute group, but the difference was most often not significant. Vertebral height, local kyphosis angle, global sagittal alignment and dynamic fracture mobility significantly improved in both groups (except global sagittal alignment), and again more so in the acute group (except global sagittal alignment); the difference between groups was significant regarding radiological variables, except global sagittal alignment. Timing of kyphoplasty certainly matters, as the clinical and radiological outcomes were mostly better in acute fractures than in chronic fractures, which somehow responded satisfactorily. Controlled studies (kyphoplasty versus natural history) are needed to establish the real value of the procedure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Fractures, Compression / etiology
  • Fractures, Compression / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spinal Fractures / etiology
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Vertebroplasty*