ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Add your Article

Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A minimally-invasive procedure called kyphoplasty reduces disability and back pain for people with acute vertebral fractures, according to researchers who studied 300 patients at 21 sites in eight European countries.

In kyphoplasty, a balloon is inserted to restore the fractured vertebra to its proper shape and height. A form of bone cement is then injected to stabilize the vertebra.

Participants in the study had one to three vertebral fractures. They were randomly assigned to receive either kyphoplasty or non-surgical care, which included painkillers, bed rest, physiotherapy and back bracing.

A month after treatment, people in the kyphoplasty group showed an improvement of 7.2 points on a standardized scale, compared with an improvement of 2.0 points for those in the non-surgical group.

The researchers found that kyphoplasty improved quality of life, function, mobility and pain more rapidly than nonsurgical treatment, with differences in improvement between the kyphoplasty and nonsurgical group for up to six months after treatment.

Those differences in improvement diminished by a year after treatment, which the researchers attributed to healing of the fractures. All other measures of quality of life, back pain and function showed that the kyphoplasty group maintained significant improvement after one year.

People who have a vertebral fracture are at increased risk of future fractures. Kyphoplasty did not reduce the risk of future fractures, nor did it significantly increase the risk, compared with non-surgical treatment, the study found.

There were two serious adverse events (hematoma and urinary tract infection) related to kyphoplasty.

"These findings will help to inform decisions about the use of balloon kyphoplasty as an early treatment option for this patient population," wrote Prof. Douglas Wardlaw, of the Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland, and colleagues.

The study was published online and was schedule for publication in an upcoming edition of The Lancet.

More information

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about kyphoplasty.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Feb. 25, 2009

Last Updated: Feb. 25, 2009

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