Vertebral Fractures and Spinal Fusions on the RiseThis report is from physicians at the Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine. They studied national trends related to pathological vertebral fractures (PVFs).
PVF refers to a fracture in a bone weakened by some other condition. Osteoporosis (brittle bones) and cancer that has spread to the bone are the most common causes of PVFs.
The authors collected patient data over a period of 12 years (1993-2004). They were able to see trends in treatment and outcomes. The following key findings were reported:
to a nursing home or rehab facility
The authors predict PVFs will continue to be a problem as more and more Americans age. Improved technology has made it possible to treat this problem but at a cost. In 2004, over a billion dollars was spent on hospitalizations for PVFs.
Prevention and early intervention are important in order to reduce disability and save money from PVFs. New treatment methods may improve outcomes but at an increased cost. By studying trends of this type, health care policy can be developed to reduce problems like PVFs.
Shivanand P. Lad, MD, PhD, et al. Trends in Pathological Vertebral Fractures in the United States: 1993-2004. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. September 2007. Vol. 7. No. 3. Pp. 305-310.
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