Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vertebroplasty: New guideline finds no evidence for a popular back procedure

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Directors approved and released a clinical practice guideline, which found a strong recommendation against a popular procedure called vertebroplasty as a way to treat fractures in the spine.

As a patient safety best practice and endorsement of evidence-based medicine, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Board of Directors approved and released a clinical practice guideline, which found a strong recommendation against a popular procedure called vertebroplasty as a way to treat fractures in the spine. Clinical practice guidelines are one avenue the Academy uses to ensure that patients receive high quality care.

Related Articles


  • Vertebroplasty is a surgical procedure developed to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae. This procedure involves injecting bone cement into the vertebra to stabilize fractures.
  • A vertebroplasty patient is typically female, older than the age of 65, and shows signs of osteoporosis.

Orthopaedic surgeon Stephen I. Esses, MD, who practices in Houston, Texas, and chair of the workgroup that developed this guideline said the group reached their conclusion after methodically reviewing the literature, over a process of several years.

"It's very important to understand that we went into this without any preconceived notions or preferences, and we all agreed that the practice of medicine has to be based on science, and not anecdotal information," Dr. Esses stated. "When you look at the science and research to-date, there is very strong Level 1 evidence to suggest that vertebroplasty does not provide the types of benefits that it was previously thought to provide."

Level 1 evidence refers to studies done under the strictest scientific guidelines, including blinding randomization.

The recommendation against this procedure is largely based on two randomized, controlled clinical trials that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). According to the work group report, the studies compared vertebroplasty and a sham procedure and report "no statistically significant difference between the two procedures in pain." The work group thoroughly reviewed the published criticisms of these two trials and found that these criticisms were not supported by existing evidence.

"Previous studies have touted the benefits of vertebroplasty, however our scientific research suggests this surgical procedure does not offer any advantages, over the placebo control," Dr Esses added.

For those patients who have had a vertebroplasty, Dr. Esses explains that knowledge changes over time and at the time they may have received this procedure, vertebroplasty was thought to alleviate spinal compression fractures, and it was perceived as beneficial.

Dr. Esses notes that surgery is not the answer for everything, and there are a variety of other treatments, such as medications or nerve blocks, which can ease the pain of spinal fractures.

"But there is not a worry that something is going to happen to you if you had this surgery already," he added. "There are no reported negative eventual side effects."

A volunteer, physician work group developed this Clinical Practice based on a systematic review of the current scientific and clinical information and accepted approaches to treatment and/or diagnosis. The entire process included a review panel consisting of internal and external committees, public commentaries and final approval by the AAOS Board of Directors. Data review for this guideline began in the beginning of 2008, and consisted of a systematic review of the current scientific and clinical information and accepted approaches to treatment and/or diagnosis.

More patient information about spinal fractures:

  • Spinal fractures are a common occurrence, and are a result of osteoporosis.
  • A vertebral compression fracture causes back pain. The pain typically occurs near the break itself. Vertebral compression fractures most commonly occur near the waistline, as well as slightly above it (mid-chest) or below it (lower back).
  • The pain often gets worse with standing or sitting for a period of time, and is often relieved by rest or lying down. Although the pain may move to other areas of the body (for example, into the abdomen or down the legs), this is uncommon.
  • According to research from the NEJM, about 750,000 new vertebral fractures occur each year in the United States. The economic burden of treating incident osteoporotic fractures was estimated at $17 billion in 2005.

More information about back surgery is available at www.orthoinfo.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Vertebroplasty: New guideline finds no evidence for a popular back procedure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927141148.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2010, September 27). Vertebroplasty: New guideline finds no evidence for a popular back procedure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927141148.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Vertebroplasty: New guideline finds no evidence for a popular back procedure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927141148.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins