The one study that was funded by the NIH, found that there is no detectable benefit to a vertebroplasty with PMMA when compare to "placebo" surgeries. Jeffrey Jarvik, of the University of Washington, is quoted as saying; "vertebroplasty should not be done any longer!" In addition to being a researcher involved with this study, could Dr. Jarvik be influenced by his position as a senior author on a study that was funded by the NIH? What was the intent of the study?
Dr. Allan Brook, the Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, contends that patients in the study may have been the ones to benefit the most from the surgery, because, most patients that were offered the opportunity to participate declined because they did not want to be in the control group that received the placebo.
As in any study the results indicated that both groups "test" and "control" saw a substantial reduction in pain. The question must be asked: how does one measure pain? Is there such a thing as equal pain? Do some people have 40% pain versus 65% pain? One has to wonder why is the government spending money to negate a procedure that does provide real benefit to the elderly. Allowing senior citizens to ambulate and get out of bed minimizes the potential of other medical complications which drive up the cost of hospitalization. Yes bloggers, I would rather allow my surgeon to make the appropriate decision rather they lay in bed and potentially risk shooting a pulmonary emboli. In addition with the advent of newer and improved products by Orthovita (Cortoss) and Spine Wave (StaXx Fx) who cares about Vertebroplasty with PMMA? With the introduction of newer technologies that have a better modulus of elasticity than cement, the long term prognosis should be better for these patients. The SpineBlogger wants to know what you fellow Orthovita and SpineWavers think?