Spine Surgery: Findings Could Cut Costs for Osteoporosis Patients, Facilities

Newswise — New findings from Baylor’s interventional radiology department have shown that a more expensive option isn’t necessarily more effective for spine augmentation. Currently, nearly three in four osteoporosis patients with vertebral fractures undergo kyphoplasty, a minimally-invasive technique used to repair those fractures and reduce pain and disability—but the research showed that the lesser-used and less-expensive vertebroplasty was just as effective.

Published in the June 2015 edition of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, the study compared the results of 59 patients who received kyphoplasty (which inserts a small inflatable balloon to repair fractures) with 56 who received vertebroplasty (a similar procedure that uses bone cement instead of a balloon).

Within three days of the procedures, investigators saw significant improvements in pain and disability among both sets of patients. Within 12 months, results were almost equal across both techniques.

“Both procedures provided excellent pain relief and the complication rates were similarly very low,” said Kennith Layton, MD, MS, FAHA, director of interventional neuroradiology at Baylor University Medical Center. “Given the results of the study, patients, referring physicians and surgeons can feel confident that either procedure can effectively treat vertebral compression fractures.”

About Baylor Research Institute
Established in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, Baylor Research Institute (BRI) promotes and supports research to bring innovative treatments from the laboratory workbench to the patient bedside. To achieve this bench-to-bedside concept, BRI focuses on basic science, clinical trials, health care effectiveness and quality of care research. Today, BRI is conducting more than 900 active research protocols with 350 research investigators, spanning more than 20 medical specialties, and has research and development projects in areas ranging from human immunology and orphan metabolic diseases to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other unmet medical needs. Its precision medicine arm offers a unique platform for identifying micro-array-based fingerprint signatures. Baylor Health Care System offers to its research affiliate unique access to one of the largest patient bases potentially available for research in the US within a single institution. BRI has received full accreditation from AAHRPP.

About Baylor Scott & White Health
Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $8.6 billion* and serving a geographic area larger than the state of Maine, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit:

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