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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Research Project: Effects of Vertebroplasty on Adjacent Level Fracture in Women

Vertebral compression fractures are a significant health issue for post-menopausal women.  The primary surgical treatment is vertebroplasty, which consists of injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebral body.  Although vertebroplasty is relatively successful in relieving pain, approximately 25% of patients experience additional vertebral fractures within one year of surgery.  The overall objective of this study is to understand the effects of bone cement on damage and failure in adjacent vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs.  This research study will allow the FDA to understand the interactions of bone cement in one spinal segment with adjacent levels of the spine and therefore provide critical information to patients, surgeons, and FDA personnel on the risk-benefit ratio of vertebroplasty.