Objective To assess the efficacy of a semi-permeable mesh implant in the treatment of painful thoracic and lumbar osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.
Methods Patients with painful thoracic and lumbar osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures which were refractory to conventional medical management and less than 3 months of age were considered possible candidates for this vertebral augmentation technique. Data recorded for the procedure included patient age, gender, fracture level and morphology, mesh implant size, amount of cement injected, cement extravasation, complications, and pre- and post-procedure numeric pain scores and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores.
Results 17 patients were included in this retrospective study; 12 women and 5 men, with an average age of 78.6 years. Each patient had one level treated with the mesh implant; 4 thoracic levels and 13 lumbar levels. The 10×15 mm implant was used in 13 treated vertebrae, including the two thoracic vertebrae; the 10×20 mm implant was used to treat 3 lumbar vertebrae, and one 10×25 mm implant was used to treat an L1 vertebra. An average of 2.4 mL of acrylic bone cement was injected, and there was fluoroscopic evidence of a small amount of cement leakage in one case. No patient related complications were seen and there were no device failures. All patients, followed-up to at least 3 weeks, showed significant pain relief. The average pretreatment numeric pain score of 9 and ODI of 50 decreased to an average post-treatment score of 0.6 and 12, respectively (p<0.001).
Conclusions Vertebral augmentation with a semi-permeable mesh stent implant can be used to effectively and safely treat osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures within the lower thoracic and lumbar spine.