Objective To determine the pattern of utilization of vertebral augmentation procedures including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty of the lumbar and thoracic spine in the Medicare population in the USA.
Methods This analysis was performed using a standard 5% national sample of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services physician outpatient billing claims from 2001 to 2008 and the Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master File for 2009 and 2010. Overall characteristics of utilization patterns for vertebral augmentation procedures were evaluated using multiple variables.
Results From 2002 to 2010, vertebroplasty procedures decreased overall by 24.6% with an average annual decrease of 3.5% per 100 000 Medicare population; from 2006 to 2010 the declines were 42.4% overall and 12.9% annually. From 2006 to 2010, kyphoplasty procedures increased overall by 0.8% with an annual average increase of 0.2% per 100 000 Medicare population.
Conclusion Analysis of growth patterns of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty in the Medicare population from 2002 to 2010 illustrates a lack of growth of kyphoplasty and a decline in vertebroplasty procedures.
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