Posted On: April 23, 2012 by Stephen Bilkis

Surgery Reportedly Reduces Risk of Death in Spinal Injury Patients

New figures show that back injury patients are far less likely to die if they are operated on. The research presented at a conference suggests that surgery reduces the likelihood of death by up to 44% of spinal fracture sufferers. This study is in comparison to those who are just given bed rest and painkillers.

In the pioneering procedure, balloons are inserted into the fractures before the cavity is filled with bone cement; it is shown to have high survival rates. Experts in Manhattan and Long Island working with the study say that the first thing they want to prove is the benefits of the surgery in spinal fractures, and it will lead to better future treatments.

The Consultant Orthopedic and Trauma Surgeon at Croydon University Hospital said: “We’ve known for a long time about the benefits of minimally invasive surgical intervention in the reduction of pain but this is the first time we seem to have robust data showing that it can highly contribute to saving lives. Treating vertebral fractures by balloon kyphoplasty is cost effective and prevents people from lingering in pain. We now have even more compelling reasons to make sure that this procedure becomes the standard of care for spinal fractures and ensure more patients have access to it.”

The Professor in Orthogeriatric Medicine & Consultant Physician at QMC, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “It is extremely positive news that such a significant number of deaths could be avoided by using bone cement injected into the spine, this data could cause a complete change in the way that we manage these patients. Clearly we need to review this data carefully to identify which patients would most benefit; eligible patients are diagnosed quickly and are offered interventions as appropriate.”

A doctor reports that as many as 230,000 people in Britain suffer from the spinal injury known as a vertical column fracture each year which leaves them needing an average 25.8 days in bed as well as suffering “long-term pain, decreased lung capacity, and physical deformity.” 

Many are currently only treated with painkillers and bed rest, but a new study, presented at the spring meeting of the British Geriatric Society, shows for the first time that surgery is a far better option. 



Improvements such as these are good news for the sufferers of spinal injuries. If you need financial help to afford such procedures, contact a New York Spinal Injury Attorney to see if they can help you find compensation.