New findings from Baylor's interventional radiology department have shown that a more expensive option isn't necessarily more effective for spine augmentation. Currently, nearly three in four osteoporosis patients with vertebral fractures undergo kyphoplasty, a minimally-invasive technique used to repair those fractures and reduce pain and disability -- but the research showed that the lesser-used and less-expensive vertebroplasty was just as effective.
Published in the June 2015 edition of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, the study compared the results of 59 patients who received kyphoplasty (which inserts a small inflatable balloon to repair fractures) with 56 who received vertebroplasty (a similar procedure that uses bone cement instead of a balloon).
Within three days of the procedures, investigators saw significant improvements in pain and disability among both sets of patients. Within 12 months, results were almost equal across both techniques.
"Both procedures provided excellent pain relief and the complication rates were similarly very low," said Kennith Layton, MD, MS, FAHA, director of interventional neuroradiology at Baylor University Medical Center. "Given the results of the study, patients, referring physicians and surgeons can feel confident that either procedure can effectively treat vertebral compression fractures."
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