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Vertebroplasty is an innovative non-surgical procedure that is used for stabilizing fractures in the spine. This procedure can be used to help treat back pain safely and effectively, allowing a patient to return to normal activity. Vertebroplasty has been used increasingly for painful acute osteoporotic fractures. The best available evidence for the effectiveness of vertebroplasty is provided by a blinded trial of Vertebroplasty for Acute Painful Osteoporotic fractures – the VAPOUR trial. This blog explores the randomized controlled VAPOUR trial regarding the efficacy of vertebroplasty.


The VAPOUR trial was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vertebroplasty in four hospitals in Sydney, Australia. Patients who had one or two osteoporotic vertebral fractures of less than 6 weeks duration with back pain greater or equal to 7 out of 10 participated in the study. They were randomized to either receive a placebo procedure or vertebroplasty and data regarding pain, disability and quality of life was collected over a 6-month period.


The fundamental question in this study was whether vertebroplasty is a safe and effective procedure that could reduce pain and disability for patients with vertebral compression fractures. Based on the results of the study, the answer is yes. The study lasted between November 4, 2011 and December 5, 2014 and involved 120 patients – 59 in the placebo group and 61 in the vertebroplasty group. Out of the control group, 12 patients (21%) had an NRS pain score below 4 out of 10 at 14 days, while the control variable group had 24 patients (44 percent). Three patients in each group passed away from causes unrelated to the procedure. Then, there were two serious adverse events in each group related to the vertebroplasty procedure and the fracture.

The VAPOUR trial proves that vertebroplasty is effective in patients with severe pain and fractures of less than six weeks’ duration, when an adequate amount of cement is injected.

Via Radiology Offers Vertebroplasty
Via Radiology now offers vertebroplasty. A clinical evaluation should first be performed to confirm the presence of a compression fracture that may benefit from treatment with vertebroplasty. This evaluation may include diagnostic imaging, blood tests, physical exam, spine x-rays and a radioisotope bone scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). The doctor may then use imaging guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone (vertebroplasty) or insert a balloon into the fractured bone to create a space and then fill it with cement.

Via Radiology

Via Radiology provides Seattle diagnostic imaging, offering services like ultrasound, MRI, CT scans, x-ray and other imaging modalities. We also provide interventional services and screening services, including screenings for lung cancer. Call 206-306-1011 or contact us online for more information.