Conclusion

Both PV and KP seem to provide the same pain relief from vertebral compression fractures and, in experienced hands, approximately the same risk. However, kyphoplasty may provide an opportunity for restoring vertebral body height before stabilization and reduction of a fracture in the clinical setting. Because the pain relief from both procedures appears to be similar and because variables such as pulmonary function, gastrointestinal issues, and even kyphosis change in the presence of pain relief, it will be difficult to compare or distinguish the two procedures based on clinical outcomes. Any benefits of KP over PV remain to be proven, but the prospect of height restoration is compelling. A trial with patients randomly assigned to KP and PV treatment groups is needed. Separate randomized clinical trials are being considered to compare KP and PV with the conventional medical management of vertebral compression fractures.

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