Salvatore Masala, Anna Micaela Ciarrapico, Daniel Konda, Vincenzo Vinicola, Matteo Mammucari, Giovanni Simonetti

August 2008, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 1242 - 1250 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-008-0708-8

First Online: 18 July 2008

A retrospective study was conducted in 179 consecutive patients (48 males, 131 females; mean age: 72.0 ± 8.59 years; range: 51–93) with single symptomatic acute amyelic osteoporotic vertebral fracture presenting between September 2004 and September 2005 to the Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome, Italy. Vertebral fractures usually become manifest due to pain which can be debilitating. Treatment depends on the presence or absence of spinal cord involvement. In the first case, surgical stabilization is mandatory. In the second case, treatment may be performed either by conservative medical therapy (CMT) or percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVT). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness, costs and cost-effectiveness of percutaneous vertebroplasty. After 2 weeks of analgesic therapy, 153 patients presented refractory pain and were offered treatment by PVT. A total of 58 patients accepted and underwent PVT (PVT group), while 95 refused and underwent conservative medical therapy (CMT group). Follow-up was performed by specialist consults, spine radiography and MRI and a self-assessment questionnaire evaluating pain using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and function using an ambulation and an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale. A 12-month follow-up was obtained in 86 of 95 (90.5%) CMT group patients and 54 of 58 (93.1%) PVT group patients. Significant reduction of VAS and improvement of ambulation and ADL was observed in both groups at 1 week and 3 and 12 months (P 

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