Percutaneous vertebral augmentation for malignant disease of the spineLowe, Robert W; Phillips, Frank MAuthor Information Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA Correspondence to Frank M. Phillips, Rush University Medical Center, 1725 W. Harrison Street, Suite 1063, Chicago, IL 60612, USA Tel: 312 243 4244; fax: 312 942 1517; e-mail: Frank.firstname.lastname@example.org Current Opinion in Orthopaedics: December 2005 - Volume 16 - Issue 6 - pp 489-493 Buy Abstract Purpose of review: The management of spinal metastatic disease is challenging and typically requires a multidisciplinary approach. Recently, there is an increasing interest in the minimally invasive technique of percutaneous vertebral augmentation (vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty) for treating patients with spinal involvement from malignant disease resulting in pain or in vertebral fracture. This review discusses the recent literature related to the use of vertebral augmentation for metastatic spinal disease. Recent findings: The current literature suggests rapid pain relief with an acceptable complication rate in patients treated with vertebral augmentation for painful pathologic vertebral fractures. In these patients, the risk of extra-vertebral cement extravasation is higher than when vertebral augmentation is used to treat simple osteoporotic fractures. Some centers have reported the early results for vertebral augmentation in higher-risk patients with posterior vertebral body cortex involvement, epidural involvement, pedicle lysis, or vertebra plana. Treatment protocols with conventional radiation therapy or radiosurgery used in conjunction with vertebral augmentation are being explored. Summary: There is an increasing role for percutaneous vertebral augmentation in the management of pathologic fractures of the spine. In the absence of significant neurologic findings or gross instability, the treatment of painful vertebral fractures with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty provides reliable and rapid pain relief with few complications. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.