Improvements in diagnosis and treatment have prolonged cancer survival, with a consequent increase in the incidence of spinal metastases and vertebral compression fractures with associated axial pain, progressive radiculomyelopathy, and mechanical instability. Pain relief in malignant vertebral compression fractures is key to achieving a better quality of life in patients under palliative care. The gold standard for pain relief is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids. Nonresponsive cases are then treated with radiotherapy, which may require 2-4 weeks to take effect and in most cases does not provide complete pain relief. Percutaneous vertebroplasty and percutaneous kyphoplasty can in particular give relief in patients with vertebral body compression fractures that do not cause neurological deficits but severely compromise quality of life because of intractable pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)