Medical school to conduct trial for new osteoporosis treatment

The Medical College of Wisconsin will conduct clinical trials at Froedtert Hospital to assess the safety and effectiveness of a new vertebral augmentation treatment (Kiva) for painful vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) that were caused by osteoporosis.

VCFs occur when a vertebra cracks, fractures or collapses. These fractures can be extremely painful and often debilitating. Over 700,000 osteoporosis-related VCFs occur each year in the U.S. It is estimated that two-thirds of VCFs are never diagnosed because many patients dismiss their back pain as a sign of arthritis.

The primary treatment for VCFs is typically bed rest, analgesics and physical therapy. These treatments are given to stabilize the fractures, potentially providing earlier pain relief and functional improvement.

Individuals who are eligible for the study must have one or two spine fractures caused by osteoporosis, be older than age 50, and have been unsuccessfully treated by traditional methods for at least six weeks.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 44 million Americans are at increased risk for bone fracture.