Current status of vertebroplasty for osteoporotic compression fracture

Lih Hui Chen, Po Liang Lai, Wen Jer Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Vertebral compression fracture is the most common complication of osteoporosis. It may result in persistent severe pain and limited mobility, and significantly impact the quality of life. Conservative therapy using external bracing, bed rest and analgesics is necessary for pain control in these patients. However, some patients may experience protracted or ongoing pain even with these measures. Surgical treatment is indicated when conservative treatment fails, or in patients with spinal instability or neurologic deficit. Elderly patients often have comorbilities, and because of osteoporosis, high risk of postoperative complications such as implant loosening, and further adjacent fractures. Vertebroplasty involves a percutaneous injection of bone cement into the collapsed vertebrae under fluroscopic imaging guidance. It was first reported in 1987 for the management of a painful, aggressive hemangioma of a vertebral body. Since then, vertebroplasty has been widely accepted for the treatment of vertebral osteoporotic compression fractures without neurological damage. This article summarizes the advances in vertebroplasty, and discusses the indications, technique, alternative methods, results and complications. The contents include a review of the supporting evidence to provide a comparison of the safety and efficacy of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Bone cement
  • Compression fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Vertebroplasty


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