Vertebroplasty Study Confirms Reduction in Pain and Improvement in Mobility

Myeloma patients with non-osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (NOVCF) experience a reduction of pain, medication use and disability when treated with vertebroplasty, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Myeloma patients with non-osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (NOVCF) experience a reduction of pain, medication use and disability when treated with vertebroplasty, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Vertebroplasty stabilizes collapsed vertebrae by injecting medical-grade bone cement into the spine. Radiologists perform the minimally-invasive procedure using image guidance.

Multiple myeloma causes destructive lesions in bones, making them more susceptible to fractures and damage.

According to the researchers, Vertebroplasty helps reduce pain and improve mobility, which enables patients to continue with their myeloma treatment programs more successfully.

Researchers conducted the study to assess whether vertebral augmentation was effective on the treatment of NOVCF in patients with MM. The study focused on vertebroplasty treatment and kyphoplasty treatment in patients with MM

Like vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty stablilizes fractured vertebra, but instead of using image guidance it first injects a balloon into the fractured bone followed by the cement mixture.

The study included 792 consecutive patients with MM that were referred to a single center for the treatment of NOVCF between January 2001 and May 2007. The participants’ mean age was 73 and 45 percent were female.

Imaging characteristics prior to the procedure and post-procedure were recorded as well as pain (visual analog scale; VAS), medication usage, mobility and disability.

A total of 2,715 non-osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures were treated during 904 VP procedures and 183 KP procedures.

The results were that VAS was significantly reduced and 293 patients reported a decrease in medication usage. Nearly half reported an improvement in their activity level as well.