Uncertainty regarding the benefits of vertebroplasty (VP) for the treatment of acute osteoporotic vertebral fractures has recently arisen. A prospective, controlled, randomized single-center trial (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT00994032) was designed to compare the effects of VP versus conservative treatment on the quality of life and pain in patients with painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures, new fractures and secondary adverse effects were also analyzed during a 12-month follow-up period. A total of 125 patients were randomly assigned to receive conservative treatment or VP. The primary end point was to compare the evolution of the quality of life (Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis [Qualeffo-41] and pain (Visual Analogue Scale [VAS]) during a 12 month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included comparison of analgesic consumption, clinical complications, and radiological vertebral fractures at the same time points. Both arms showed significant improvement in VAS scores at all time points, with greater improvement (p = 0.035) in the VP group at the 2-month follow-up. Significant improvement in Qualeffo total score was seen in the VP group throughout the study, whereas this was not seen in the conservative treatment arm until the 6-month follow-up. VP treatment was associated with a significantly increased incidence of vertebral fractures (odds ratio [OR], 2 · 78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-7.62, p = 0.0462). VP and conservative treatment are both associated with significant improvement in pain and quality of life in patients with painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures over a 1-year follow-up period. VP achieved faster pain relief with significant improvement in the pain score at the 2-month follow-up but was associated with a higher incidence in vertebral fractures.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.