Vertebroplasty:

 

Cost: $10,000

The percutaneous injection of cement into a fractured vertebra. The procedure, done in about 100,000 patients a year, is falsely marketed as relieving pain quickly. But in clinical trials, pain relief was similar to that seen in patients who underwent sham surgery. The procedure's risks include compression fractures in adjacent vertebrae, dural tears, infections, cement migration, and nerve pain that requires subsequent surgery.

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