Long-term outcomes of vertebroplasty for osteoporotic compression fractures

J. Thillainadesan, G. Schlaphoff, K. A. Gibson, G. M. Hassett, H. P. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: This study aimed to determine outcomes of percutaneous vertebroplasty for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). Methods: Prospective assessment of short-term (≤6 weeks), medium-term (6 months) and long-term (29 months) outcomes of vertebroplasty, followed by a retrospective long-term follow-up of patients treated with vertebroplasty compared with conservative therapy. Outcomes measured were visual analogue scale pain scores, analgesic use, disability scores using the Roland Morris Disability questionnaire and a number of new VCFs. Results: In 27 patients with acute VCFs followed prospectively, vertebroplasty resulted in significant reductions in pain levels (56-mm reduction on a 100-mm scale) and disability scores (11.8-point reduction on a 24-point scale) at all follow-up points up to a mean of 29 months compared with pre-vertebroplasty levels (P < 0.001). Analgesic use was significantly less intense in the short and medium term after vertebroplasty (P < 0.005). In 25 patients who had vertebroplasty for VCF, a sustained reduction in all outcomes was demonstrated at a mean follow-up of 30 months, with less pain, significantly lower disability scores (P < 0.05) and less analgesic use (P < 0.05) compared with nine conservatively treated subjects. During the follow-up period, six new VCFs occurred in 4/25 vertebroplasty patients compared with four new VCFs in 2/9 control subjects. Conclusions: Vertebroplasty provides significant and clinically meaningful reductions in pain, analgesic use, and disability in the short, medium and long term. Compared with conservative therapy, vertebroplasty provides significantly greater functional improvement and reduction in analgesic use. The procedure is relatively safe with no clearly increased risk of new vertebral fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • compression fracture
  • health outcomes
  • interventional radiology
  • osteoporosis
  • vertebroplasty


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