Ulrich Berlemann, Torsten Franz, Rene Orler, Paul F. Heini

April 2004, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 496 - 501 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-004-0691-7

First Online: 09 April 2004


Minimally invasive augmentation techniques of vertebral bodies have been advocated to treat osteoporotic vertebral body compression fractures (VBCFs). Kyphoplasty is designed to address both fracture-related pain as well as kyphotic deformity usually associated with fracture. Previous studies have indicated the potential of this technique for reduction of vertebral body height, but there has been little investigation into whether this has a lasting effect. The current study reports on our experience and the one-year results in 27 kyphoplasty procedures (24 patients) for osteoporotic VBCFs.


All but one patient experienced pain relief following the procedure (on VAS 1–10)—with a lasting effect over the follow-up period in 25 cases. An average vertebral kyphosis reduction of 47.7% was achieved with no loss of reduction after one year. The potential for reduction was statistically related to the pre-operative amount of kyphosis, the level treated, and the age of the fracture, but not to the age of the patient. During follow-up, one fracture adjacent to a treated level was observed. Pain relief was not related to the amount of reduction.


Kyphoplasty is an effective treatment of VBCFs in terms of pain relief and durable reduction of deformity. Whether spinal realignment results in an improved long-term clinical outcome remains to be investigated.

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