Minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery may be more effective than conservative spine treatments


July 3, 2012

Topic: minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery

Vertebroplasty may be more effective than non-surgical treatments in approaching osteoporotic spine fractures.

More than 40 million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis, as estimated by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). When it comes to fractures, one of the most vulnerable areas of the body is the spinal column.

Vertebral fractures may be treated conservatively with braces, rest or medications. Vertebroplasty, a minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery that stabilizes the target area of the spine with a cement-like substance, may also help, according to NIAMS.

However, new research from Wisconsin suggests that the latter may be more effective than the former, as reported by Healio.

This conclusion is based on a review of six previous trials that compared conservative treatments of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures to vertebroplasty. The analysis included about 800 patients.

"In selective patients, cement augmentation offers greater pain relief, functional improvements, quality of life than conservative management and we did not see any evidence of new fractures," said researcher Paul Anderson, M.D., quoted by the news source.

Other results suggested that these improvements were particularly significant during time points soon after the procedure.

Anderson presented this study at the SpineWeek 2012 conference.

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