Efficacy and Safety of Vertebral Augmentation

The Efficacy and Safety of Vertebral Augmentation: A Second ASBMR Task Force Report PR Ebeling et al
There is little to no evidence that two surgical procedures used to fuse crumbled vertebrae following a spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis reduce pain for patients any better than non-surgical or placebo procedures, according to a new report from a global task force of bone health experts published today in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR).

Key findings from the task force report include:

    • Vertebroplasty (cement injection into the vertebrae) provides no clearly significant benefit in pain control over placebo or sham procedures based on five randomized placebo-controlled trials.
  • For balloon kyphoplasty, the lack of placebo-controlled trials of this procedure, along with the absence of any benefits of kyphoplasty over vertebroplasty when compared in a small number of head-to-head trials, argues against the use of this procedure.
  • The ASBMR task force offered the following guidance for healthcare professionals and their patients for managing fractures to the spine:
      • Fully inform their patients of the available evidence: there is little to no evidence that the use of vertebral augmentation works any better than a placebo.
    • Anti-osteoporosis medications should be started or continued. A change in treatment may also need to be considered if the fracture occurred after 12 months from starting anti-osteoporosis treatment.
JBMR, 24 January 2019
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