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Society of Interventional Radiology Supports Treatment for Painful Spine Fractures: Patient Selection Key
Date:1/19/2010

atment of patients with chronic compression fractures; the incomplete use of MRI or CT to confirm that the fracture was the likely source of pain; and the high rate of crossover from placebo to vertebroplasty in one of the studies, explained McGraw.

      Criticism has also come from one of the studies' investigators. William Clark, M.D., St. George Private Hospital, Sydney, Australia, an investigator with the Kallmes study, said he regarded that study as "meaningless." In addition, he called the Buchbinder study "a rush to judgment on 'science-based medicine' without applying scientific technique in appraising the studies" in comments posted to the Arthritis Today Web site. Clark noted numerous flaws in the studies, indicating they had "inappropriate patient selection, terrible recruitment and selection bias with the majority not followed."

      Osteoporosis, the most common type of bone disease, is characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of the bone resulting in an increased susceptibility to fractures. Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans and is responsible for 700,000 vertebral fractures each year. Multiple vertebral fractures can result in chronic pain and disability, loss of independence, stooped posture and compression of the lungs and stomach.

      Vertebroplasty, a minimally invasive treatment performed by interventional radiologists under imaging guidance, stabilizes collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement into the spine. "This reduces pain and can prevent further collapse of the vertebra, thereby preventing the height loss and spine curvature commonly seen as a result of osteoporosis. Vertebroplasty, when used appropriately in accordance with established practice standards by expert providers, dramatically improves back pain within hours of the procedur
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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