Thursday, October 27, 2016

Vice chair comments on vertebroplasty debate

Joshua A. Hirsch, MD

Joshua A. Hirsch, MD

In advance of the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society this week in Boston, neurointerventional radiologist and department vice chair Joshua A. Hirsch, MD spoke to Orthopedics This Week about the landmark VAPOUR trial that examined the safety and efficacy of vertebroplasty.
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive, image-guided treatment for back pain caused by vertebral fractures associated with osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. In 2009, two studies failed to demonstrate benefit over a controlled intervention, resulting in decreased access to the procedure.
Dr. Hirsch and Mass General Department of Radiology alumnus Dr. Ronil Chandra co-authored the invited expert commentary that accompanied the results of the VAPOUR trial in The Lancet. Dr. Hirsch told Orthopedics This Week, "It is my sincere hope that all of these trials are seen as learning opportunities to help providers figure out how to best provide care, not as opportunities to deny these most vulnerable patients treatment."

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