Health economic aspects of vertebral augmentation procedures

F. Borgström, D. P. Beall, S. Berven, S. Boonen, S. Christie, D. F. Kallmes, J. A. Kanis, G. Olafsson, A. J. Singer, K. Åkesson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We reviewed all peer-reviewed papers analysing the cost-effectiveness of vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. In general, the procedures appear to be cost effective but are very dependent upon model input details. Better data, rather than new models, are needed to answer outstanding questions. Vertebral augmentation procedures (VAPs), including vertebroplasty (VP) and balloon kyphoplasty (BKP), seek to stabilise fractured vertebral bodies and reduce pain. The aim of this paper is to review current literature on the cost-effectiveness of VAPs as well as to discuss the challenges for economic evaluation in this research area. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify existing published studies on the cost-effectiveness of VAPs in patients with osteoporosis. Only peer-reviewed published articles that fulfilled the criteria of being regarded as full economic evaluations including both morbidity and mortality in the outcome measure in the form of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were included. The search identified 949 studies, of which four (0.4 %) were identified as relevant with one study added later. The reviewed studies differed widely in terms of study design, modelling framework and data used, yielding different results and conclusions regarding the cost-effectiveness of VAPs. Three out of five studies indicated in the base case results that VAPs were cost effective compared to non-surgical management (NSM). The five main factors that drove the variations in the cost-effectiveness between the studies were time horizon, quality of life effect of treatment, offset time of the treatment effect, reduced number of bed days associated with VAPs and mortality benefit with treatment. The cost-effectiveness of VAPs is uncertain. In answering the remaining questions, new cost-effectiveness analysis will yield limited benefit. Rather, studies that can reduce the uncertainty in the underlying data, especially regarding the long-term clinical outcomes of VAPs, should be conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1249
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Balloon kyphoplasty
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Quality of life
  • Vertebroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Health economic aspects of vertebral augmentation procedures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this