A global task force has suggested that there is little to no evidence that vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty are superior to non-surgical or placebo procedures to treat pain in patients with acute vertebral fractures.
The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research task force assessed the efficacy and safety of vertebral augmentation, as well as other non-pharmacologic treatments for painful vertebral fractures.
It found percutaneous vertebroplasty “provides no demonstrable clinically significant benefit over placebo or sham procedure.” There was insufficient evidence to support kyphoplasty over non-surgical management, percutaneous vertebroplasty, vertebral body stenting or the KIVA vertebral augmentation device.
"The message for doctors and their patients suffering from painful spinal fractures is that procedures to stabilise spinal fractures should not be a first choice for treatment," said task force member and lead author Dr Peter Ebeling from Monash University in Australia.
The authors stressed that it is critical that anti‐osteoporotic medications are started, continued or changed in the case of treatment failure in patients with recent vertebral fracture.
The recommendations are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.