Background Context: Whether early vertebroplasty (VP) (within 3 months) offers extra benefit to aged patients older than 70 years with painful vertebral compression fractures (PVCF) in terms of mortality and respiratory-related morbidity remains unknown, given that the elderly is associated with higher surgical risks. Purpose: To elucidate the benefits of an early VP intervention for aged patients with a PVCF by comparing the risks of mortality and respiratory-related morbidity. Study Design: A retrospective propensity score matched cohort. Patient Sample: PVCF patients with an early VP and without an early VP intervention. Outcome Measures: Death, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. Methods: A total of 10,785 PVCF patients who used analgesic injection during admission from 2000 through 2013 were selected from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. After matching, there were 1773 VP patients and 5324 non-VP patients included in this study. Conditional Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine the risk of death and respiratory complications. Results: The incidences of death at 1 year of VP and non-VP patients were 0.46 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.38-0.56) and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.57-0.70) per 100 person-months, respectively. We observed a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.39 (95% CI: 1.09-1.78, p=.008) when comparing non-VP to VP patients. This phenomenon was seen when estimating the benefits of respiratory failure (HR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.04-2.05, p=.028). Conclusion: The results showed that VP was associated with lower risks of mortality and respiratory failure in aged patients with a PVCF. VP should be considered a priority for the aged patients with a PVCF requiring admission and analgesics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1310-1318
Number of pages9
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Mortality
  • National Health Insurance Research Database
  • Painful vertebral compression fracture
  • Respiratory failure
  • The elderly
  • Vertebroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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