Factors affecting the quality of life in the chronic phase of thoracolumbar osteoporotic vertebral fracture managed conservatively with a brace

Published:November 15, 2022DOI:


      • We evaluated factors associated with QOL in the chronic phase of thoracolumbar OVF.
      • OVF managed conservatively with a brace was studied.
      • Nonunion, subsequent vertebral fracture, and sacral slope were associated with QOL.
      • The cutoff value for the sacral slope on MRI was 35 degrees.



      Although osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVFs) are the most common type of osteoporotic fracture, few reports have closely investigated the factors contributing to the quality of life (QOL) in the chronic phase after thoracolumbar OVFs using detailed radiographic evaluation.


      This study aimed to identify factors associated with the QOL in the chronic phase after thoracolumbar OVF.


      Post-hoc analysis of a prospective randomized study.


      Participants included 195 patients with fresh thoracolumbar OVF managed conservatively with a brace who were available for radiographic analysis 48 weeks after injury.


      The degree of QOL impairment at 48 weeks after thoracolumbar OVF was assessed using the Japanese three-level version of the EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D) score.


      Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to evaluate the relationships between the QOL and radiographic factors.


      The univariate analysis showed that age, analgesic use, T10/L5 Cobb angle on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), subsequent vertebral fracture, and nonunion were significantly associated with the EQ-5D score at 48 weeks after thoracolumbar OVF. The multiple regression analysis showed that nonunion, analgesic use, subsequent vertebral fracture, and sacral slope on MRI were independently associated with the EQ-5D score at 48 weeks after thoracolumbar OVF. Receiver operating characteristic analysis for the deterioration of QOL showed that the cutoff value for sacral slope on MRI was 35 degrees.


      This study demonstrated that nonunion, subsequent vertebral fracture, and lower sacral slope were independently associated with poorer QOL in the chronic phase of thoracolumbar OVF managed conservatively with a brace. Therefore, improving or preventing these factors in patients with thoracolumbar OVF in the chronic phase may improve the QOL of the affected patients.



      AVBCP (anterior vertebral body compression percentage), EQ-5D (EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), OVF (osteoporotic vertebral fracture), QOL (quality of life), ROC (receiver operating characteristic), VAS (visual analog scale)
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