August 6th, 2009

August 6: Study Results Raise Questions About Vertebroplasty

By Kelley Luckstein

Studies Question Using Cement for Spine Injuries

Two new studies cast serious doubt on a widely used and expensive treatment for painful fractures in the spine…I’m going to be the most reviled radiologist on the planet,” said Dr. David F. Kallmes, the first author of one of the studies and a professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic.

 

NY Times by Denise Grady, 8/6/2009

 

Common Spine Surgery Shows No Benefit

An expensive and common procedure treating back pain from osteoporosis turns out to be ineffective, no better than a fake surgery, two major studies have found…"It is absolutely shocking," says Mayo Clinic interventional neuroradiologist David Kallmes, who led one of the studies in conjunction with researchers at the University of Washington. "Vertebroplasty as currently practiced in this country and around the world doesn't seem to work."

 

Forbes by Robert Langreth, 8/5/2009

 

Studies find spinal procedure no more effective than placebo

A widely used surgical procedure in which cement is used to fortify cracks in the spine is no better than a sham operation, two groups of researchers independently reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine…In one of the new studies, supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. David F. Kallmes of the Mayo Clinic -- one of the originators of the procedure -- and his colleagues enrolled 131 patients; 68 received a vertebroplasty, and 61 received a sham procedure in which the back was numbed, surgeons pressed on it as if they were injecting cement, and the patients were exposed to the distinctive odor of the cement.

 

LA Times by Thomas Maugh, 8/6/2009

 

Study: Treating Fractured Vertebrae May Not Help

One of the key issues for a health care overhaul is how to pay only for necessary care — and how to identify which procedures and treatments are most advantageous to patients… Radiologist David Kallmes of the Mayo Clinic was one of the first people to do this procedure in the United States about 15 years ago. But after awhile, he and others decided it needed to be rigorously tested.

 

NPR by Joanne Silberner, 8/5/2009

 

CBS Evening News, Interview with Dr. David Kallmes regarding vertebroplasty study.

 

Additional coverage:

Web MD

AP

Boston Globe

HealthDay

Pioneer Press

 

Tags: osteoporotic, Radiology, Research, spine, vertebroplasty

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