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On August 6, 2009, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), arguably the world's most influential medical journal, published the results of two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of vertebroplasty that demonstrated equivalence to a controlled intervention.1 2 Set against the backdrop of a heated national health care debate, these articles created a media frenzy and placed the NeuroInterventional community (amongst others) under immediate and intense scrutiny.
The articles sparked a sensationalistic and sometimes hostile debate in which vertebral augmentation specialists were called upon to comment, render opinions and seemingly “defend” their practice.3 4 Sadly for our patients, many of these responses were emotional, reactionary and antagonistic to evidence-based medicine (EBM)—an opportunity for a healthy and reasoned debate was lost.
The large body of evidence that supports the practice of vertebral augmentation cannot be easily dismissed. Practitioners of vertebral augmentation have seen countless patients …
Competing interests JS is a consultant and minor shareholder for CareFusion. The company makes products for vertebral augmentation. AB is a consultant for CareFusion. GZ is a consultant for Sotiera, Synthes, and a DeDuy course instructor.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.