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Arizona Pain Specialists Contend Recent Vertebroplasty Studies are Misleading
Date:8/7/2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Two studies released August 6, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine claim to demonstrate that vertebroplasty, a procedure to treat some painful spine fractures, is not effective. According to several authorities in the field, this is incorrect, as both studies actually demonstrate a significant improvement in patients' pain and ability to function normally.

Tory McJunkin, MD, co-founder of Arizona Pain Specialists, has a personal connection because his grandmother recently had the procedure performed with a life-changing, pain-relieving outcome. Dr. McJunkin explained that "Clinical data show that this procedure relieves pain and improves patients' quality of life. I have seen amazing results from vertebroplasty in my practice and for my grandmother."

Allen Burton, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology at MD Anderson in Houston, one of the foremost experts on vertebroplasty, stated, "The conclusion that vertebroplasty does not help back pain is completely wrong. If you look closely at the study design, what they are calling a placebo is actually a facet injection."

"These studies actually show that both treatments are effective," said Paul Lynch, MD, co-founder of Arizona Pain Specialists. "The studies did not use a true control group condition, where patients would receive no treatment. The 'control' patients actually received a different effective treatment and both groups demonstrated highly clinically significant reductions in pain. This demonstrates that vertebroplasty is an effective procedure, although facet injections are also effective."

Pain is often measured on a 0 to 10 scale, with higher numbers indicating greater pain. The studies demonstrate that patients who received the vertebroplasty procedure had reductions in pain of 2.3 and 3.0 points in the two studies, compared to reductions o
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SOURCE Arizona Pain Specialists
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