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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 175079, 10 pages
Review Article

Current Perspectives on Percutaneous Vertebroplasty: Current Evidence/Controversies, Patient Selection and Assessment, and Technique and Complications

Musculoskeletal Division, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6

Received 30 December 2010; Revised 22 March 2011; Accepted 23 March 2011

Academic Editor: Ali Guermazi

Copyright © 2011 Robert James Nairn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteoporotic-associated vertebral compression fractures are a major public health concern, dwarfing even hip fractures in incidence in the United States. These fractures carry a significant morbidity and mortality burden and also represent a major growing source of consumption of scarce heath resources. Percutaneous vertebroplasty remains a commonly used and safe technique for the symptomatic treatment of vertebral compression fractures, both osteoporotic- and neoplastic-induced. By carefully selecting appropriate patients who are referred promptly, vertebroplasty can provide significant and durable pain relief over traditional conservative therapy. Recent controversies surrounding the evidence for vertebroplasty in osteoporotic-associated vertebral compression fractures are reviewed. A comprehensive step-by-step practical guide to performing vertebroplasty is then described. A brief description of patient selection, workup, as well as complications is also provided.