Current Issue - May 2021 - Vol 24 Issue 3


  1. 2021;24;283-291Can Additional Facet Joint Block Improve the Clinical Outcome of Kyphoplasty for Acute Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures?
    Prospective Study
    Qing-Da Li, MD, Jun-Song Yang, MD, Han-Lin Gong, MD, Jian-Min Wei, MD, Xiang-Fu Wang, MD, Peng Zou, MD, Bo Zhang, MD, Ding-Jun Hao, MD, Yuan-Ting Zhao, MD, and Lei Chu, MD, PhD.

BACKGROUND: Percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP) has been reported to provide a favorable analgesic effect for pain caused by osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs). However, a systematic review demonstrated that pain relief was only reported for approximately 86% of kyphoplasty treatments.

OBJECTIVES: To explore whether an additional facet joint block (FJB) can minimize pain and improve the clinical outcome of PKP in patients with acute OVCFs.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study.

SETTING: All data were from Honghui Hospital in Xi’an.

METHODS: According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 194 patients were eventually included in our study; they were randomly divided into 2 groups of 97 patients each and treated with either PKP + FJB or PKP alone. Follow-up consultations were scheduled 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year postoperatively; the demographic characteristics, related surgical information, and complications observed within both groups were recorded. The clinical evaluation parameters included the intraoperative satisfaction score, the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score, and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

RESULTS: A total of 171 patients (61 men and 110 women; age range: 62–85 years) completed the full postoperative follow-up schedule, with 83 patients in the PKP + FJB group and 88 in the PKP group. No significant differences were observed in the genders, ages, preoperative bone mineral density, surgical levels, or volume of cement injected between the 2 groups (P > 0.05, respectively). The average duration of the surgeries in the PKP + FJB group was slightly longer than that in the PKP group (35.5 ± 4.8 min vs. 31.8 ± 4.3 min; P = 0.038), and in terms of the clinical outcomes, the average intraoperative satisfaction score was significantly higher in the PKP + FJB group (8.6 ± 1.1 vs. 6.3 ± 1.3; P < 0.001). Compared with the preoperative data, significant improvements in the VAS scores of back pain and ODI were observed at each follow-up interval (P < 0.05, respectively). These scores were significantly higher in the PKP + FJB group than in the PKP group; however, this was only observed within the first month after the procedure.

LIMITATIONS: A single-center noncontrol study.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of an FJB (which in our study involved a unique combination of ropivacaine, prednisolone, and vitamin B12) improved the short-term clinical outcome of PKP for acute OVCFs. The local anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on the facet joints resulted in higher intraoperative satisfaction and lower VAS and ODI scores for the first postoperative month when compared with the PKP group.

KEY WORD: Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture, pain, posterior elements, percutaneous kyphoplasty, facet joint block, medial branch