BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Focal point tenderness over the fractured level is believed to be a necessary criterion for performing vertebroplasty. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the presence of focal-point tenderness over a fracture treated with vertebroplasty predicts superior clinical outcome as compared with outcomes in patients without such tenderness. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, we divided patients into 3 groups on the basis of pain patterns noted during history and physical examination before an initial vertebroplasty in 534 consecutive patients. Group 1 comprised 373 (70%) of 534 patients with focal-point tenderness over the treated fractures. Group 2 comprised 119 (22%) patients with focal-point tenderness over the treated fractures as well as subjective off-midline pain or focal tenderness to palpation over nontreated vertebrae. Group 3 comprised 42 (8%) patients without focal-point tenderness over the treated fractures but with subjective off-midline pain or tenderness to palpation over nontreated vertebrae. Outcomes included pain at rest and with activity as well as the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score. Statistical tools included the 2-tailed t test with a Bonferroni adjustment. RESULTS: Baseline pain at rest and with activity was not different among groups, but the proportion of group 3 patients maintained on a narcotic anesthesia preprocedure was less than that of groups 1 and 2 (P = .02 compared with both groups). Group 3 achieved significantly lower pain scores at rest at 1 month (P < .0001 compared with group 1 and P < .001 compared with group 2). CONCLUSION: The presence of focal-point tenderness does not predict superior clinical response following vertebroplasty compared with the absence of focal tenderness. Even patients without focal tenderness may benefit from vertebroplasty.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology