Anterior-only stabilization using plating with bone structural autograft versus titanium mesh cages for two- or three-column thoracolumbar burst fractures: a prospective randomized study.
ABSTRACT A randomized, controlled follow-up study to review patients with acute thoracolumbar burst fractures treated by anterior instrumentation and reconstruction.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of anterior instrumentation in the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures and to determine whether anterior-only approach would be sufficient for highly unstable burst fractures. In this prospective follow-up study, we also compared the results of anterior reconstruction with structural grafting and with titanium mesh cage in a randomized fashion.
Anterior decompression and reconstruction supplemented with instrumentation is generally believed to be superior to fixation with posterior pedicle screw instrumentation for a highly unstable burst fracture, but the indications and methods for anterior approach has not been fully documented.
A total of 65 patients undergoing anterior plating for a thoracolumbar burst fracture with a load-sharing score of 7 or more between 2000 and 2003 were included this study. They were randomized to receive iliac crest autograft (group A, n = 32) or titanium mesh cages (group B, n = 33). The patients were similar in the distribution of 3-column injuries (n = 8 in group A vs. n = 9 in group B). During the minimum 4-year (range, 4-7 years) follow-up period, all patients were prospectively evaluated for clinical and radiologic outcomes. The Frankel scale, the ASIA motor score, and the Short Form 36 were used for clinical evaluation, whereas the fusion status and the loss of kyphosis correction for the local kyphosis angle were examined for radiologic outcome.
All patients in this study achieved solid fusion, with significant neurologic improvement and no significant correction loss as defined by loss of kyphosis correction. The clinical and radiologic results were not significantly different (P > 0.05) at all time points between the 2 groups A and B. Twenty-six of 32 patients in group A still complained of donor site pain to some degree at the final follow-up. No significant impact of 3-column injuries (P > 0.05) were identified on the results for all comparisons.
Anterior-only instrumentation and reconstruction with structural autograft or titanium mesh cages is sufficient for surgical treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures with a load-sharing score of > or = 7 and even with 3-column injuries.
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ABSTRACT: This work evaluated the radiologic stability of titanium mesh cages (TMCs) when used for single-level corpectomy reconstruction of thoracic and thoracolumbar spine. Thirty-one patients underwent reconstruction for acute fractures (n = 15), posttraumatic deformity reconstruction (n = 10), neoplastic disorders (n = 4), and infection (n = 2). The cages were placed after corpectomy and excision of the adjacent intervertebral discs. Additional stabilization devices included anterior plates alone (n = 18), anterior double screw and rod constructs alone (n = 9), a single anterior rod system (n = 1), posterior stabilization alone (n = 6), and additional posterior stabilization (n = 2). Mean kyphosis correction was from 16 degrees to 5 degrees with 3 degrees of recurrence at 1-year follow-up (P < 0.0001 for both postoperative and final follow-up). In patients with greater initial kyphosis (>20 degrees ), mean correction was from 33 degrees to 10 degrees without recurrence (P = 0.004). Distance between adjacent vertebral bodies improved by 13 mm after cage placement, with a mean of 2mm of settling at final follow-up. There was one asymptomatic cage fracture without evidence of other problems. Two patients had construct failure after complex three-dimensional deformities were inadequately corrected and the cages had been placed in an angulated position. This report suggests that TMCs are a sound reconstruction alternative after thoracic and thoracolumbar corpectomy at a single level and may prevent complications associated with the harvest and use of large structural autografts for these reconstructions. Failure to correctly align the spine so the cage can be vertically placed is a contraindication to the use of TMCs.Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques 02/2004; 17(1):44-52. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multicenter prospective randomized trial. To test the hypotheses that thoracolumbar AO Type A spine fractures without neurologic deficit, managed with short-segment posterior stabilization will show an improved radiographic outcome and at least the same functional outcome as compared with nonsurgically treated thoracolumbar fractures. There are various opinions regarding the ideal management of thoracolumbar Type A spine fractures without neurologic deficit. Both operative and nonsurgical approaches are advocated. Patients were randomized for operative or nonsurgical treatment. Data sampling involved demographics, fracture classifications, radiographic evaluation, and functional outcome. Sixteen patients received nonsurgical therapy, and 18 received surgical treatment. Follow-up was completed for 32 (94%) of the patients after a mean of 4.3 years. At the end of follow-up, both local and regional kyphotic deformity was significantly less in the operatively treated group. All functional outcome scores (VAS Pain, VAS Spine Score, and RMDQ-24) showed significantly better results in the operative group. The percentage of patients returning to their original jobs was found to be significantly higher in the operative treated group. Patients with a Type A3 thoracolumbar spine fracture without neurologic deficit should be treated by short-segment posterior stabilization.Spine 01/2007; 31(25):2881-90. · 2.16 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