A study was conducted by David Kallmes Neuroradiologist in the Mayo clinic said that after the treatment (vertebroplasty) they experience reduced back pain.
He says that the treatment is very effective when compared to the other available new treatments for back pain.
He also explains that vertebroplasty is a process in which medical cement is injected inside the vertebrae where painful compression fractures are present. These compressions arise due to osteoporosis.
The patients after undergoing the treatment have said that their other activities have improved drastically. Daily activities such as walking, household work and dressing which initially was a big challenge are now made easier after the treatment.
The patients under the study group are monitored before and after vertebroplasty. The patients themselves report back saying that the treatment has improved their back pain and that they can handle more work for long hours.
The investigators conducted the study to assess vertebroplasty with a well-validated questionnaire specifically designed to measure back pain, the
Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ).
They reviewed records of 113 Mayo Clinic vertebroplasty patients. Of this group, RDQ scores were available for 108 patients before vertebroplasty treatment, and after
treatment for 93 patients at one week, 73 patients at one month, 46 patients at six months and 15 patients at one year.
Patients' pain during rest and activity improved an average of seven points one week after treatment and remained improved one year following vertebroplasty. Prior to treatment, the average RDQ score was 18 on a scale
of 23. The RDQ dropped to an average score of 11 immediately after treatment and remained at that level throughout the study.
Dr. Kallmes explains that in light of the wide practice of vertebroplasty for vertebral compression fractures, a study using a top-caliber back pain measurement tool like the RDQ was critical, especially in light of the often subjective nature of pain reporting by different patients.
"It's hard to remember your pain. Also, it's hard to say how bad my pain is compared to your pain. I've had patients say their pain is no better after treatment, yet I look at them and they look 10 times better," he said.
Dr. Kallmes explains that ultimately, vertebroplasty needs evaluation through a study of the highest quality, a clinical trial in which patients are randomly assigned to receive treatment or no treatment and in which the
patients and investigators are blinded to which patients receive the real reatment or a placebo used for comparison.