In this randomized trial of over 300 patients with vertebral fractures, patients were randomized to balloon kyphoplasty or non-surgical treatment and followed up for a year. Kyphoplasty was superior in physical function, pain, and quality of life scores at 1, 3, and 6 months, but the differences between the groups diminished by a year (abstract). Based on this study, balloon kyphoplasty appears to be a reasonable treatment option to reduce short term pain and disability in patients admitted with vertebral fractures.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.