This is a prospective randomised study comparing the clinical and radiological outcomes of uni- and bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. A total of 44 patients were randomised to undergo either uni- or bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty. Self-reported clinical assessment using the Oswestry Disability Index, the Roland-Morris Disability questionnaire and a visual analogue score for pain was undertaken pre-operatively, and at three and twelve months post-operatively. The vertebral height and kyphotic angle were measured from pre- and post-operative radiographs. Total operating time and the incidence of cement leakage was recorded for each group.
Both uni- and bipedicular kyphoplasty groups showed significant within-group improvements in all clinical outcomes at three months and twelve months after surgery. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in all clinical and radiological outcomes. Operating time was longer in the bipedicular group (p < 0.001). The incidence of cement leakage was not significantly different in the two groups (p = 0.09).
A unipedicular technique yielded similar clinical and radiological outcomes as bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty, while reducing the length of the operation. We therefore encourage the use of a unipedicular approach as the preferred surgical technique for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.