Network meta-analysis of percutaneous vertebroplasty, percutaneous kyphoplasty, nerve block, and conservative treatment for nonsurgery options of acute/subacute and chronic osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) in short-term and long-term effects

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Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) commonly afflicts most aged people resulting back pain, substantial vertebral deformity, functional disability, decreased quality of life, and increased adjacent spinal fractures and mortality. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation (PVA) included percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) and percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), nerve block (NB), and conservative treatment (CT) are used for the nonsurgery treatment strategy of OVCFs, however, current evaluation of their efficacy remains controversial.

Methods and analysis:

A systematic literature search was carried out in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Knowledge, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to October 31, 2017. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were compared PVP, PKP, NB, or CT for treating OVCFs. The risk of bias for each trial was rated according to the Cochrane Handbook. Mean differences (MDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were utilized to express VAS (visual analog scale) outcomes. The network meta-analysis (NMA) of the comparative efficacy measured by change of VAS on acute/subacute and chronic OVCFs was conducted for a short-term (<4 weeks) and long-term (≥6–12months) follow-up with the ADDIS software.


A total of 18 trials among 1994 patients were included in the NMA. The PVA (PVP and PKP) had better efficacy than CT. PKP was first option in alleviating pain in the case of the acute/subacute OVCFs for long term, and chronic OVCFs for short term and long term, while PVP had the most superiority in the case of the acute/subacute OVCFs for short term. NB ranks higher probability than PKP and PVP on acute/subacute OVCFs in short and long-term, respectively.


The present results suggest that PVA (PVP/PKP) had better performance than CT in alleviating acute/subacute and chronic OVCFs pain for short and long-term. NB may be used as an alternative or before PVA, as far as pain relief is concerned. Various nonsurgery treatments including CT, PVA (PVP/PKP), NB, or a combination of these treatments are performed with the goal of reducing pain, stabilizing the vertebrae, and restoring mobility.

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