Dr. Finkenberg how do you feel about The New England Journal Of Medicine performing a study to question the validity of kyphoplasty.
Well, I’m glad the study was done, mainly because I like to see reports on both sides of the fence as to whether various procedures we do have effectiveness that is helpful for patients as well as decreasing healthcare costs. That particular study was done on patients, fairly small population of patients that had the ability to be randomized initially but then to cross over as the study went through, and they after 30 days were able to start that cross-over process.
So the concern for many people who find that doing vertebral augmentation procedures or kyphoplasty are very effective in decrease in hospitalization and helping patients decrease their pain was that the study possibly gave people the impression that the procedure has no benefit at all. And I have taken a poll of people in our community as well as nationally, and most of us believe that for specific types of patients, there is no other way that we presently have to decrease the pain as quickly and to allow them to get back to their normal daily activities.
So while the study I think was important and I am glad it was published, I do think that everybody needs to look at it very closely because the age of the patient, the various diagnoses they have, and the abilities to bias the study by cross-overs are things that we have to look at closely.
About Dr. Finkenberg, M.D.
Dr. John Finkenberg has been in practice at Alvarado Hospital for 16 years. He completed his undergraduate and medical degree at UCLA. Following his orthopedic residency at Harbor/UCLA, he received fellowship training in Advanced Spinal Reconstruction Surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland.
Dr. Finkenberg’s great interest in the advancement of spinal surgery developed from 15 years as a spine consultant assisting with the creation of new technology and procedures. He is a primary investigator for multi-center national research studies and lectures around the world on current research projects.