Karen Beattie, BSc, PhD Candidate and Dr. A. Papaioannou, MSc, MD, FRCP(C), Associate Professor of Medicine; Department of Geriatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.
Dr. P. Boulos, MD, FRCP(C) and Dr. J.D. Adachi, MD, FRCP(C), Professors of Medicine; Department of Rheumatology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.
Osteoporosis is a major health concern in Canada, affecting 25% of women and 12% of men. Vertebral compression fractures, the most common of all osteoporotic fractures, are clinically diagnosed only 30% of the time. Treatment for such fractures is primarily pharmacological. However, newer, non-invasive methods of treatment, namely vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, stabilize compression fractures, provide pain relief and even improve posture and functional ability. While vertebroplasty involves the injection of a cement product into one or more compressed vertebrae, kyphoplasty adds another step of inserting a balloon into the vertebra to re-establish original vertebral height. Clinical studies of these procedures suggest kyphoplasty provides better symptomatic relief and is associated with fewer complications than vertebroplasty. However, further randomized, controlled evidence comparing these procedures is required.
Key words: kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty, osteoporosis, vertebral fracture, compression fracture.