6 trends in inpatient vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: Did negative studies make a difference?


A new study published in Clinical Spine Surgery examines the trends in inpatient vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty volume.

The study authors examined the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for inpatient vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures performed from 2005 to 2011. The study authors found:


1. Inpatient vertebrplasty and kyphoplasty volume dropped from 54,833 in 2005 to 39,832 in 2011, representing a 5 percent decrease.


2. The rate of vertebrplasty and kyphoplasty procedures for fractures decreased from 20.1 percent in 2005 to 14.7 percent in 2011.


3. The patient demographics were similar in 2005 and 2011.


4. The weekend admissions increased from 12.4 percent in 2005 to 34.2 percent in 2011.


5. The number of elective inpatient vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures decreased from 40 percent in 2005 to 21.4 percent in 2011. At the same time, routine discharges decreased from 52.1 percent to 33 percent over the study period.


6. The researcher noted encounters with three or more Elixhauser comorbidities increased from 39.1 percent to 54.5 percent.


In 2009, four randomized controlled trials were published stating conflicting outcomes for pain and quality of life for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty patients when compared with non-surgical management and sham procedures, including four in 2009.


"Although our analysis cannot demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship, the decreased inpatient volume and procedural rates surrounding the publication of sentinel negative RCTs is clearly observed," concluded the study authors.


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