The most common complication of osteoporosis is vertebral fractures, which occur more frequently than all other fractures (hip, wrist, and ankle).
OBJECTIVE: To prospectively analyze vertebroplasty compared with kyphoplasty for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures using improvement in pain, functional capacity, and quality of life as outcome measures.
METHODS: The study population included 28 patients in the vertebroplasty group and 24 patients in the kyphoplasty group. The mean follow-up period was 42.2 weeks and 42.3 weeks in the vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty groups, respectively. Outcomes were measured pre- and postoperatively using the visual analogue scale, the Oswestry Disability Index, the EuroQol-5D questionnaire, and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey.
RESULTS: In the vertebroplasty group, visual analogue scale scores improved from a mean of 8.0 cm to 5.5 cm at last follow-up (P = .001). Preoperatively, the Oswestry Disability Index was 57.6, which improved to 38.4 (P = .006). The EuroQol-5D score preoperatively was 0.157 and improved to 0.504 (P = .001). The Short-Form 36 Health Survey showed greatest improvement in the areas of physical health, role physical, body pain, and vitality. In the kyphoplasty group, visual analogue scale scores improved from a mean of 7.5 cm preoperatively to 2.5 cm postoperatively (P = .000001). The mean Oswestry Disability Index preoperatively was 50.7 and improved to 28.8 (P = .002). The EuroQol-5D score improved from a mean of 0.234 preoperatively to 0.749 (P = .00004). The Short-Form 36 Health Survey showed greatest improvement in the areas of physical health, physical functioning, role physical, body pain, and social functioning.
CONCLUSION: Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are effective at improving pain, functional disability, and quality of life; however, kyphoplasty provides better results, which are maintained over long-term follow-up.