Purpose: Kyphoplasty immediately improves pain and mobility in patients with painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures, but long-term clinical outcomes are still unclear. This controlled trial evaluates pain, mobility and fracture incidence 3 years after kyphoplasty.
Materials and methods: Kyphoplasty was performed in 40 patients with painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures; 20 patients who were selected for kyphoplasty but chose not to undergo the procedure served as controls. All patients received pharmacologic antiosteoporosis treatment, pain medication, and physiotherapy. Pain (visual analog scale of 0-100), mobility (European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study questionnaire score of 0-100), and incident vertebral fractures were assessed at baseline, postprocedurally, and after 12 and 36 months.
Results: Pain score improved after kyphoplasty from 73.8 to 55.9 (immediately after kyphoplasty), 55.6 (12 months), and 54.0 (36 months; P < .001). Pain score in the control group changed from 66.4 to 65.7 at 12 months and 64.0 at 36 months (P = .521). The pain score of the kyphoplasty group was significantly improved versus controls after 36 months (P = .023). Mobility score improved after kyphoplasty from 43.8 to 54.2 (immediately after kyphoplasty), 54.5 (12 months), and 54.8 (36 months; P = .0008) and remained increased (P = .308) compared with controls (39.8 immediately after kyphoplasty, 44.3 at 12 months, and 43.6 at 36 months). The incidence of new vertebral fractures after kyphoplasty was significantly reduced versus controls after 3 years (P = .0341).
Conclusions: Kyphoplasty reduces pain and improves mobility as long as 3 years after the procedure. The long-term risk of new vertebral fractures after kyphoplasty of chronically painful vertebral fractures is reduced versus controls.