To determine the effectiveness of vertebral augmentation in relieving pain, differences in pain relief outcomes based on procedure type were investigated. Variables that potentially influence outcomes were identified.MATERIALS AND METHODS
A database of 525 cases (740 levels) treated for compression fractures with vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, or S1-level sacroplasty was compiled. Average age was 75 years ± 12, and 72.4% of patients were female. Variables evaluated included age, sex, fracture etiology, procedure type, vertebral level treated, number of levels treated per procedure, and technical approach. Outcomes were assessed by a binary system of “responders” (ie, patients with improvement/resolution of pain) versus “non-responders” (ie, those with no change/worsening of pain) and with a four-level pain scale (1, pain resolution; 2, pain improvement; 3, no change; 4, worse pain) retrospectively applied from medical records. Univariate and multivariate analyses determined outcomes.RESULTS
Four-hundred and sixty-seven patients (89%) showed a response to treatment: 40% had pain resolution and 49% had pain improvement. Multivariate analysis showed that women and older patients had greater odds of being responders (odds ratios [ORs], 0.56 and 0.98, respectively;P= .016 andP= .048, respectively). Patients without cancer (OR, 1.60;P= .012) and women (OR, 2.05;P= .0002) were more likely to experience pain resolution. Increasing numbers of levels treated per case were associated with decreased odds of pain resolution (OR, 0.69;P= .0081). Sex and number of levels treated were independently predictive of pain scale outcomes (ORs, 2.0 and 0.71, respectively;P= .0003 andP= .015).CONCLUSIONS
Vertebral augmentation procedures provide pain relief for a majority of patients regardless of underlying fracture etiology. There was no difference in pain outcomes among procedure types. Age and sex may be predictive of pain outcomes.