Vertebral augmentation in osteoporosis: common procedures for spinal fractures show no benefitBMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l515 (Published 31 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l515
- Owen Dyer
Two common surgical interventions for spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis are no more effective than placebo or sham surgery in bringing lasting relief from pain and disability, a taskforce of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has concluded from a meta-analysis of existing studies.1
About 750 000 patients have such a fracture each year in the United States, and roughly a third of these experience acute pain and disability, although this often resolves after several months.
Over 30 000 patients a year are treated with “vertebral augmentation” therapies: mostly percutaneous vertebroplasty, where bone cement is injected into the vertebra; or kyphoplasty, where a balloon or bone tamp is introduced into …