We described the whole population of patients hospitalized for vertebral fractures in France in 2009. Only 6.4 % of them were operated by vertebroplasty; these patients were younger and healthier than non-operated patients.
Introduction: This study aims to describe the burden of vertebral fractures from the 2009 French Hospital National Database in acute care in people aged 60 years and over, with or without vertebroplasty.
Methods: All stays due to nonmalignant and nontraumatic vertebral fractures as primary cause were selected. Patients' characteristics were described and compared between patients with or without vertebroplasty. The in-patient mortality was compared to the one related to hip and upper humerus fracture in patients hospitalized during the same year.
Results: In 2009, 13,624 patients were hospitalized for vertebral fracture. Men accounted for 29.3 % of cases. Length of stay was 9.6 ± 8.2 days, higher in patients with at least one comorbidity than in patients without (11.2 ± 8.6 and 7.8 ± 7.2 days, respectively). The in-patient mortality was 0.9 %; it was 3.8 and 1.1 % for hip and upper humerus fractures, respectively. Vertebroplasty was performed in 6.4 % of them. Patients with vertebroplasty were younger (mean age of 75 ± 8 versus 79 ± 9 years), had a less duration of stay (7 ± 7.5 versus 9.8 ± 8.2 days), less comorbidities (at least one comorbidity, 45 versus 54 %), and less in-patient mortality (0.1 versus 0.9 %). Rehospitalization for vertebral fracture occurred in 9 and 6 % of the patient with and without vertebroplasty.
Conclusion: This is the first French study assessing the national burden of vertebral fractures based on hospital data. In-hospital death rate is lower in patients with vertebroplasty, who are younger and have less comorbidities than the general population with vertebral fractures.