Vertebral compression fracture treatment with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: experience in 407 patients with 1,156 fractures in a tertiary cancer center

Pain MedicineBurton AW et al. | November 30, 2011

This single–center experience revealed that a large number of cancer patients suffer from painful vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). The use of vertebroplasty (VP) or kyphoplasty (KP) in treating painful VCFs in cancer patients has good efficacy and an acceptably low complication rate.


  • Authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of cancer patients with painful VCFs that had been treated at this institution between January 1, 2001 and May 31, 2008.
  • Information was collected on demographic and clinical characteristics, features of the fractures, procedural details, and complications.
  • Pre– and post–procedural pain and related symptoms were assessed using a subset of patients who had responded to the Brief Pain Inventory and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale.


  • A total of 407 cancer patients had 1,156 fractures that had been treated with VP or KP during 536 surgical procedures.
  • Patients had an average of 2.8 fractures (range, 1–10).
  • The majority of patients had pathologic fractures due to multiple myeloma (43%) or osteoporotic fractures (35%).
  • Most fractures occurred in the thoracolumbar region.
  • Adjacent–level fractures occurred in 18% of patients.
  • Surgery provided significant relief from pain and several related symptoms.
  • Symptomatic, serious complications requiring open surgery occurred in two cases (<0.01%) in this series.

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