ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
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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