European Spine Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 624–629 | Cite as

Comparison of kyphoplasty with use of a calcium phosphate cement and non-operative therapy in patients with traumatic non-osteoporotic vertebral fractures

  • Nicole Schmelzer-Schmied
  • C. Cartens
  • P. J. Meeder
  • K. DaFonseca
Original Article


One of the current standard treatment options for younger patients with stable traumatic vertebral fractures is conservative treatment using braces. Kyphoplasty as a minimally invasive procedure has been shown to be effective in stabilizing vertebral body fractures, resulting in immediate pain relief and improved physical function. The purpose of this prospective study was to clarify whether patients with acute traumatic vertebral fractures benefit more from kyphoplasty or from conservative treatment with a brace. A prospective study was undertaken in two centers. Forty patients with acute painful traumatic vertebral body fractures type A1–A3 (AO-classification) after adequate trauma, without osteoporosis, suitable for kyphoplasty or therapy by brace were included into the study. Follow-up was 12 months. Patients of the kyphoplasty group showed an immediate beneficial and significant effect postoperatively, and better outcomes 1 and 3 months after operation compared to the conservatively treated group in pain feeling, mobility and vertebral body height. After 12 months the difference between both groups was not significant excepting the vertebral body height. Kyphoplasty provides early and lasting reduction of pain and improvement of daily activity. However, there are clinically asymptomatic cement leakages in up to 45% of which we do not know the consequences in long term. Every patient with traumatic vertebral body fracture treated by kyphoplasty has to be informed about that. Long-time results are outstanding and our findings require confirmation by randomized controlled trials.


Kyphoplasty 3-Point-brace Traumatic vertebral fracture Comparison Resorbable cement 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Schmelzer-Schmied
    • 1
  • C. Cartens
    • 1
  • P. J. Meeder
    • 2
  • K. DaFonseca
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of TraumatologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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