Surgery, 'Sham' Equal in Treating Compression Fracture Pain

"I always try bracing and analgesics and physical therapy to try to get the patients to feel better without any intervention at all," Toussaint added. "But if those measures don't work, I still think it is an option."

Also, Toussaint noted, "a lot of patients can't get their insurance companies to pay for medications that are more effective for osteoporosis treatment because they're expensive and new, but they will pay for the surgery."

More information

The Radiological Society of North America has more on vertebroplasty.

SOURCES: David F. Kallmes, M.D., professor, radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; L. Gerard Toussaint III, M.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and neurosurgeon, Texas Brain and Spine Institute, Bryan, Texas; Aug. 6, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine

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