A Medical Device Daily

A multi-center, randomized, controlled study of surgical intervention vs. non-surgical care for acute vertebral compression fractures published in the Feb. 24 online edition of The Lancet demonstrated that patients undergoing balloon kyphoplasty showed superior improvement in quality of life, back function and back pain compared to those who had non-surgical care alone one month after surgery.

The study results indicated that the benefits of balloon kyphoplasty were sustained on average throughout 12 months.

The study was sponsored by Medtronic's (Minneapolis) Spine and Biologics business, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and supports the benefits of surgical intervention specifically with balloon kyphoplasty compared to non-surgical care. Devices to perform balloon kyphoplasty are sold as Kyphon products by Medtronic.

Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment for vertebral compression fractures. It is used worldwide to treat vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis and certain types of cancer and also has been approved outside the U.S. for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures caused by trauma.

Balloon kyphoplasty is unique to other surgical treatments for vertebral compression fractures with its use of a balloon to restore vertebral body height and angular deformity in addition to stabilizing the fracture.

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