Treatment of unstable thoracolumbar junction fractures: short-segment pedicle fixation with inclusion of the fracture level versus long-segment instrumentation.

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Oct;158(10):1883-9. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2907-0. Epub 2016 Aug 19.

Treatment of unstable thoracolumbar junction fractures: short-segment pedicle fixation with inclusion of the fracture level versus long-segment instrumentation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The surgical management of thoracolumbar burst fractures frequently involves posterior pedicle screw fixation. However, the application of short- or long-segment instrumentation is still controversial. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of the short-segment fixation with inclusion of the fracture level (SSFIFL) versus the traditional long-segment fixation (LSF) for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar junction fractures.

METHODS:

From December 2009 to February 2014, 60 patients with unstable thoracolumbar junction fractures (T11-L2) were divided into two groups according to the number of instrumented levels. Group 1 included 30 patients treated by SSFIFL (six-screw construct including the fracture level). Group 2 included 30 patients treated by LSF (eight-screw construct excluding the fracture level). Local kyphosis angle (LKA), anterior body height (ABH), posterior body height (PBH), ABH/PBH ratio of fractured vertebra, and Asia Scale Impairment Scale were evaluated.

RESULTS:

The two groups were similar in regard to age, sex, trauma etiology, fracture level, fracture type, neurologic status, pre-operative LKA, ABH, PBH, and ABH/PBH ratio and follow-up (p > 0.05). Reduction of post-traumatic kyphosis (assessed with LKA) and restoration of fracture-induced wedge shape of the vertebral body (assessed with ABH, PBH, and ABH/PBH ratio) at post-operative period were not significantly different between group 1 and group 2 (p = 0.234; p = 0.754). There was no significant difference between the two groups in term of correction loss at the last follow-up too (LKA was 15.97° ± 5.62° for SSFIFL and 17.76° ± 11.22° for LSF [p = 0.427]). Neurological outcome was similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Inclusion of fracture level in a short-segment fixation for a thoracolumbar junction fractures results in a kyphosis correction and in a maintenance of the sagittal alignment similar to a long-segment instrumentation. Finally, this technique allowed us to save two or more segments of vertebral motion.

KEYWORDS:

Inclusion of fracture level; Long-segment fixation; Pedicle screw; Short-segment fixation; Thoracolumbar burst fractures

PMID:

 

27541493

 

DOI:

 

10.1007/s00701-016-2907-0


Categories: Spine and Peripheral nerve

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