To explore the relationship between the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) and the efficacy of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP).
A prospective study was conducted to analyze the clinical and imaging data of 93 patients with OVCFs treated via PVP. A visual analogue scale (VAS), the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the Medical Outcomes Study(MOS) 36-Item short-form health survey (SF-36) were completed before surgery as well as 1 day and 1, 6, and 12 months after surgery. In addition, postoperative complications were recorded. According to the degree and ranges of bone marrow edema on MRI, the patients were divided into three groups: the mild (group A), moderate (group B), and severe (group C) bone marrow edema groups. Pain and dysfunction scores were compared across the three groups of patients before surgery as well as 1 day and 1, 6, and 12 months after surgery.
The VAS, ODI, and SF-36 scores showed significant differences (P < 0.05) before and after surgery among the three groups. The ODI and SF-36 scores were significantly different (P < 0.05) at 1 day and 1 month after surgery among the three groups. Groups A and B showed significantly better pain relief than group C. Group B experienced better pain relief than group A. These results indicate that PVP was associated with better pain relief effects among patients with a greater extent of bone marrow edema. The edema ranges of the vertebral fractures were negatively correlated with the postoperative VAS and ODI scores 1 month after surgery, whereas the ranges were positively correlated with postoperative SF-36 scores 1 month after surgery.
PVP is an effective treatment for OVCFs. Better outcomes were observed among patients with severe or moderate bone marrow edema rather than those with mild bone marrow edema. A greater degree of pain relief after PVP was correlated with faster recovery of the postoperative function. However, this correlation gradually became weak over time and disappeared 6 months after surgery. Therefore, PVP should be an option for early stage OVCFs, especially among patients with bone marrow edema signs on MRI.