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Study Offers Support for Surgery After Compression Fracture
Date:8/10/2010

n about $5,000 including the cost of an MRI scan, Kallmes said.

Another expert, Dr. Eugene J. Carragee, a professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the spine surgery center at Stanford University, is also not a fan of vertebroplasty for most patients.

"None of the controlled trials, including this one, have even remotely confirmed the 80 to 90 percent rate of complete and immediate pain relief described in original reports of this procedure," he noted.

In fact, about 60 to 70 percent of the effect seen in the vertebroplasty group was also seen in the control group, Carragee said. "This strongly suggests that most of the improvement in the vertebroplasty group was not due to the procedure alone," he pointed out.

"The vertebroplasty treatment effect probably includes some direct effect and some placebo effect. But it is unlikely that all of the apparent treatment effect is placebo," Carragee added.

More information

For more information on compression fractures of the back, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: David F. Kallmes M.D., professor, radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Eugene J. Carragee, M.D., professor, orthopedic surgery, and chief, spine surgery center, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Aug. 10, 2010, The Lancet, online


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