The efficacy of conservative treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures on acute pain relief: a systematic review with meta-analysis.
Eur Spine J. 2015 Apr;24(4):702-14
Authors: Rzewuska M, Ferreira M, McLachlan AJ, Machado GC, Maher CG
PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to systematically evaluate the efficacy of commonly used non-surgical treatments in acute care of adults with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs).
METHODS: A systematic approach was used to search eight electronic databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining analgesic medications, passive physical therapies, bed rest or orthoses. Data on pain, activity/participation and adverse events were extracted. Methodological quality and quality of evidence were assessed with the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale (score range 0-10) and the GRADE criteria, respectively.
RESULTS: Five RCTs (total n = 350) were identified including one placebo-controlled and four controlled trials examining analgesics (2 studies) and orthoses (3). PEDro scores ranged from 4 to 7. The overall quality of evidence ranged from very low to low. In two trials, spinal orthoses provided significantly higher medium-term pain relief [pooled standardized mean differences (SMD): -1.47, 95 % confidence interval (CI) -1.82, -1.13; I (2) = 0 %] and disability reduction (pooled SMD: -1.73, 95 % CI -2.09, -1.37; I (2) = 0 %) than no intervention. Immediate- and short-term pain effects of diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and tramadol (a strong opioid) were demonstrated when compared to a Chinese medicine, whereas non-significant effects were found for oxycodone and tapentadol (strong opioids) in a placebo-controlled trial. Low/insufficient statistical power, co-interventions and potential conflict of interest might have influenced the results.
CONCLUSIONS: At present, there is insufficient evidence to inform conservative care for acute pain related to VCF. Large, multinational, placebo/sham-controlled trials to address this gap in evidence are needed.
PMID: 25725810 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]