New Treatment Option for Patients with Vertebral Compression Fractures

July 24, 2009

Research from the Hospital Universitario Doctor Peset in Valencia, Spain has led to a new minimally invasive procedure for treating vertebral compression fractures that increases mobility and reduces pain.

Research from the Hospital Universitario Doctor Peset in Valencia, Spain has led to a new minimally invasive procedure for treating vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) that increases mobility and reduces pain.

Vesselplasty comes as a new alternative to vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, two treatments commonly used for VCFs. According to an abstract of the study that was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, “the average pain score before treatment was 8.72 ± 1.25 (SD), whereas the average pain score after treatment was 3.38 ± 2.35.” In addition, “the average mobility score before treatment was 2.31 ± 1.94, whereas the average mobility score after treatment was 0.59 ± 1.05 (p < 0.001),” and “the average analgesic use score before treatment was 3.07 ± 1.46, whereas it was 1.86 ± 1.90 after treatment (p < 0.001).”

Patients being treated for VCFs at the Hospital, 29 altogether, were enrolled in the study, providing pain, mobility, and analgesic use scores before treatment. According to the journal abstract, “a two-tailed paired Student's t test was used to compare differences in the mean scores for levels of pain, mobility, and analgesic use before and after the procedure and to evaluate changes in vertebral body height.” The team also examined the impacts that the age and cause of the fracture had on variations in these three scores.

The researchers report that “no evidence of clinical complications” was seen throughout the course of the study.

“Vertebral compression fractures often cause severe, disabling pain and progressive deformities of the spine in osteoporotic patients,” said Lucia Flors, MD and lead author of the study. “Vesselplasty is a safe alternative in the treatment of VCFs. It is an image-guided procedure that only requires conscious sedations and local anesthesia. Most patients refer improvement in their level of pain immediately following the procedure.”