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AAOS recommends against vertebroplasty

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is recommending against use of vertebroplasty to treat symptomatic osteoporotic spinal compression fractures, according to a Sept. 24 clinical practice 1guideline. Stephen Esses, M.D., Southwest Orthopedic Group, who chaired the volunteer physician workgroup that developed the guideline, said the group reviewed literature over several years and concluded "vertebroplasty does not provide the types of benefits that it was previously thought to provide." Vertebroplasty is the percutaneous injection of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) into a fractured vertebral body to alleviate pain and stabilize the spine. The recommendation against the procedure is largely based on two randomized studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine finding that vertebroplasty provided no lasting benefit over sham procedures (2"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 10, 2009)

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