Organ transplant recipients are at risk for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). The goal of this study was to determine whether kyphoplasty is an effective treatment for VCFs that develop in this patient population.
Six consecutive patients who had undergone an organ transplant (five liver and one kidney transplant) had a total of 13 symptomatic VCFs that were treated with balloon kyphoplasty. Postprocedure follow-up duration ranged from 6 to 12 months. The mean visual analog scale pain score was 9.3 before treatment and declined to 1.8 after treatment. This improvement was highly significant (p < 0.001). Intake of narcotic drugs decreased or was eliminated in all patients, and there were no complications related to the procedure. There was one instance of clinically insignificant extraosseous cement extravasation. Sagittal alignment was improved by 5° in one patient and was unchanged in the remaining five. During the follow-up period, a new fracture developed adjacent to a treated level in one patient. This was successfully treated with an additional kyphoplasty procedure.
Kyphoplasty can be performed safely in organ transplant recipients with VCF, in whom results are just as favorable as those seen in patients with no history of organ transplantation.