Monosegmental transpedicular fixation for selected patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures.
ABSTRACT A prospective cohort study on selected consecutive patients.
To evaluate the efficacy of an innovative operative technique called monosegmental transpedicular fixation for the treatment of some thoracolumbar burst fractures.
Short-segment pedicle screw instrumentation is accepted by many spinal surgeons as an acceptable technique for the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures. Preoperative evaluation using the spinal load-sharing makes this technique more reliable. To preserve more motion segments, some authors have advocated using monosegmental pedicle screw instrumentation (MSPI) to treat thoracolumbar fractures. However, up until now this kind of maneuver is only performed in cases of flexion distraction injuries.
A cohort of 20 patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures fulfilling the inclusion criteria were prospectively submitted to surgical treatment of monosegmental transpedicular fixation plus posterior fusion. All instrumentations were performed with pedicle screws inserted bilaterally into the fractured level and 1 adjacent level, either superior or inferior depending on the locating side of the intact endplate. All patients were followed up. The preoperative radiographs, the postoperative radiographs within 1 week of operation, and the radiographs of the most recent follow-up were evaluated for kyphosis correction recorded in the Sagittal Index and Load-Sharing Classification (LSC) index. The postoperative functional outcomes were evaluated using the Frankel Performance Scale together with the Denis Pain Scale.
Eighteen patients were followed up successfully with an average final follow-up of 24.7+/-8.0 months. The focal kyphotic angulations were corrected satisfactorily with the mean Sagittal Index of preoperative 16.5+/-6.6 degrees, initial postoperative 4.0+/-2.4 degrees, and latest follow-up 4.8+/-4.0 degrees. No obvious loss of correction occurred except for 2 patients who both scored 8 points on the LSC Score. Postoperatively, most patients attained both functional neurologic improvement and pain relief, and only a few complications were noted.
For selected thoracolumbar burst fractures, MSPI can provide the same or better fixation and preserve more motion segments than other methods of posterior pedicle instrumentation. With preoperative evaluation using the spinal LSC system, MSPI is effective and reliable for the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures when properly indicated.
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ABSTRACT: Forty-three patients with fractures of the thoracolumbar spine submitted to surgical treatment using the Harms method (dorsoventral operations) were studied prospectively with a follow-up of at least 12 months and evaluated on the basis of clinical and radiologic parameters and in relation to their professional activities. Thirty-five patients (81.3%) were males and eight (18.7%) females, ranging in age from 17 to 67 years (mean 34.08+/-11.51 years). Seven patients (16.2%) presented fractures of more than one vertebra, and associated lesions were present in 15 patients (34.8%). Monosegmental fixation was performed in 7 patients (16.3%), bisegmental fixation in 29 (67.4%), and trisegmental fixation in 7 (16.3%). No patient was submitted to any type of external immobilization during the postoperative period and all patients were allowed to sit up in bed and to walk as soon as their clinical conditions permitted. Thirty-nine patients were followed up for a period ranging from 12 to 36 months (mean 16.58+/-6.83 months). Four patients died during the postoperative period (three of pulmonary embolism and one of septicemia). Forty-two patients sat up in bed between the 2nd and 6th postoperative day, and those who did not present a disabling lesion (Frankel D or E) or other associated lesions walked between the 4th and 10th postoperative day (mean 6.14+/-6.06 days). The neurological signs and symptoms improved in 16 patients (37.3%), were unchanged in 26 (60.4%), and worsened in 1 (2.3%). Twenty-three patients (87.5%) who had no neurological damage (Frankel E) returned to their professional activities after respective periods of disability of 1 month (three patients), 2 months (four patients), 3 months (one patient), 4 months (seven patients), 5-7 months (five patients), 8-12 months (one patient), and more than 12 months (three patients). The ability to work of the 24 patients without neurological damage was 100% in 21, 50% in 2, and zero in 1. The ability to walk of this group of patients was 1-5 km for 4 and more than 5 km for the remaining 20 patients. The complications observed were death (four patients; three cases of pulmonary embolism and one case of septicemia), infection (two patients), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (one patient), and meningitis (one patient). The mean kyphosis of the fractured segment was 22.17 degrees +/- 10.97 degrees preoperatively, 8.55 degrees +/- 6.9 degrees postoperatively, and 10.30 degrees +/- 8.84 degrees on the occasion of late evaluation. No loss of correction occurred in 28 patients (71.8%), a 5 degrees loss was observed in 3 patients (7.6%), a 6 degrees loss in 3 (7.6%), a 7 degrees loss in 3 (7.6%), and a loss of more than 10 degrees in 2 (5.2%).European Spine Journal 02/1998; 7(3):187-94. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Criteria for choosing operative techniques for the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures remain disputed, particularly in neurologically intact patients. A retrospective study of 25 patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures was performed to assess fracture characteristics, operative approaches, fixation, radiographic results, and neurological, functional, and pain outcomes. Anterior corpectomy, allograft strut, and plate fixation were performed in 14 patients with or without neurological deficit when vertebral compression or canal encroachment was at least 40% or kyphosis was 15 degrees or more with a stable posterior column. In nine cases, an anterior operation and a posterior segmental fixation were combined for similar deformity and three-column instability. Posterior transpedicular decompression, fixation, and fusion were used primarily for two symptomatic patients with less than 40% encroachment and at most 40% compression. Overall, 21 patients (84%) were walking and 18 (72%) were continent at follow-up evaluation (mean 16.3 months) versus eight (32%) and 11 (44%) at presentation, respectively. Preoperatively, 17 patients experienced neurological deficit; 16 improved and 12 increased one Frankel grade. No patient deteriorated. Prior employment or activity level was resumed by 19 patients (76%) and only four patients professed incapacity. Pain was eliminated after 18 procedures (72%), all anterior or combined approaches. Restoration of anatomical alignment (< 5 degrees) was achieved in 19 cases. No anterior construct failed and only one patient treated posteriorly had postoperative kyphosis progression. Operative morbidity occurred in three cases (12%). Satisfactory neurological and functional outcomes were achieved in a majority of patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures after correction of canal compromise, middle column compression, and attendant deformity. These results indicate that anterior decompression and a weight-bearing strut graft are critical to clinical success in patients with significant vertebral destruction.Journal of Neurosurgery 01/1997; 86(1):48-55. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Load Sharing Classification of spinal fractures was evaluated by 5 observers on 2 occasions. To evaluate the interobserver and intraobserver reliability of the Load Sharing Classification of spinal fractures in the assessment of thoracolumbar burst fractures. The Load Sharing Classification of spinal fractures provides a basis for the choice of operative approaches, but the reliability of this classification system has not been established. The radiographic and computed tomography scan images of 45 consecutive patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures were reviewed by 5 observers on 2 different occasions 3 months apart. Interobserver reliability was assessed by comparison of the fracture classifications determined by the 5 observers. Intraobserver reliability was evaluated by comparison of the classifications determined by each observer on the first and second sessions. Ten paired interobserver and 5 intraobserver comparisons were then analyzed with use of kappa statistics. All 5 observers agreed on the final classification for 58% and 73% of the fractures on the first and second assessments, respectively. The average kappa coefficient for the 10 paired comparisons among the 5 observers was 0.79 (range 0.73-0.89) for the first assessment and 0.84 (range 0.81-0.95) for the second assessment. Interobserver agreement improved when the 3 components of the classification system were analyzed separately, reaching an almost perfect interobserver reliability with the average kappa values of 0.90 (range 0.82-0.97) for the first assessment and 0.92 (range 0.83-1) for the second assessment. The kappa values for the 5 intraobserver comparisons ranged from 0.73 to 0.87 (average 0.78), expressing at least substantial agreement; 2 observers showed almost perfect intraobserver reliability. For the 3 components of the classification system, all observers reached almost perfect intraobserver agreement with the kappa values of 0.83 to 0.97 (average, 0.89). Kappa statistics showed high levels of agreement when the Load Sharing Classification was used to assess thoracolumbar burst fractures. This system can be applied with excellent reliability.Spine 03/2005; 30(3):354-8. · 2.16 Impact Factor