Anterior-Only Stabilization Using Plating With Bone Structural Autograft Versus Titanium Mesh Cages for Two- or Three-Column Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Spine (Impact Factor: 2.3). 07/2009; 34(14):1429-35. DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181a4e667
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Nonetheless, surgery by a double approach is a major undertaking. Mean operative time ranges from 2.5 to 5.5 hours, and the total perioperative blood loss can add up to 5 L, both factors greater than with the single approach [20] [21]. The incidence of intraoperative complications is also significantly higher in combined than in single approach surgeries, with hemorrhage being the most common complication [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Short-segment pedicle screw instrumentation constructs for the treatment of thoracolumbar fractures gained popularity in the 1980s. The load-sharing classification (LSC) is a straightforward way to describe the extent of bony comminution, amount of fracture displacement, and amount of correction of kyphotic deformity in a spinal fracture. There are no studies evaluating the relevance of fracture comminution/traumatic kyphosis on the long-term radiologic outcome of burst fractures treated by short-segment instrumentation with screw insertion in the fractured level.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society
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    • "Short-segment fixation is performed, followed by pedicle screw placement on the fractured vertebral side and vertebral pedicle autogenous bone grafting is performed on the other side. Thus, the ‘shell’ phenomenon is avoided (6–8). Furthermore, unilateral vertebral pedicle fixation and bone grafting may improve the biomechanical stability of the affected vertebral body, effectively reconstructing the support in the anterior and middle spine, reducing the stress load on the fixation system and preventing early adjacent segment regression, kyphosis and lumbar back pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the role of real-time B-mode ultrasound in posterior decompression and reduction and to observe the signal changes in spinal cord blood flow in a thoracolumbar burst fracture (TBF). Between February 2004 and December 2008, 138 patients with TBF were divided into group A (108 cases) and group B (30 cases). In group A, under the assistance of real-time B-mode ultrasound, posterior decompression and fracture piece reduction were performed, and we observed the signal changes in spinal cord blood flow. In group B, posterior fenestration was combined with pushing the fracture piece into the fractured vertebral body using an L-shaped operative tool. Presurgical and postsurgical recovery of neurological function was evaluated according to American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) standards, and the range of spinal decompression was determined by measuring the proportion of encroached fracture piece in the spinal canal (spinal stenosis rate) on the computed tomography (CT) image. In group A, 12 patients had a grade A spinal injury according to the Frankel grading system, and there were six cases without neurological recovery. In the other patients, neurological function increased by 1-3 grades. There were no aggravated spinal cord injuries or other serious complications. In group B, three patients were categorized as grade A and there were two cases without neurological recovery. In the other patients, neurological function increased by 1-3 grades. In groups A and B, the postsurgical spinal stenosis rate was significantly lower than the presurgical stenosis rate (P<0.05). The postsurgical spinal stenosis rate in group B was significantly higher compared with group A (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in neurological function recovery between the groups (P>0.05). Real-time B-mode ultrasound is an effective method for posterior decompression and reduction and to observe signal changes in spinal cord blood flow in TBF.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Experimental and therapeutic medicine
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    • "Despite the advantages found in biomechanical studies, clinical investigations report inconsistent data in regard to maintaining correction [9-12]. In addition, there are only a few studies published evaluating late clinical and radiological results after minimally invasive thoracoscopic ventral instrumentation [9,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose Thoracoscopic-assisted ventral stabilisation for thoracolumbar fractures has been shown to be associated with decreased recovery time and less morbidity when compared with open procedures. However, there are a limited number of studies evaluating late clinical and radiological results after thoracoscopic spinal surgery. Methods We performed an analysis of the late outcomes of thoracolumbar fractures after minimally invasive thoracoscopic ventral instrumentation. Between August 2003 and December 2008, 70 patients with thoracolumbar fractures (T5-L2) underwent ventral thoracoscopic stabilisation. Tricortical bone grafts, anterior plating systems (MACS-System), and cage implants were used for stabilisation. Outcomes measured include radiologic images (superior inferior endplate angle), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), VAS Spine Score, quality of life scores SF-36 and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Results Forty seven patients (67%, 47 out of 70) were recruited for the follow up evaluation (2.2 ± 1.5 years). Lower VAS Spine scores were calculated in patients with intra- or postoperative complications (44.7 (± 16.7) vs. 65.8 (± 24.5), p=0.0447). There was no difference in outcome between patients treated with bone graft vs. cage implants. Loss of correction was observed in both bone graft and titanium cage groups. Interpretation The present study demonstrates diminished long-term quality of life in patients treated with thoracoscopic ventral spine when compared with the outcome of german reference population. In contrast to the other patients, those patients without intra-operative or post-operative complications were associated with improved outcome. The stabilisation method (bone graft versus spinal cage) did not affect the long-term clinical or radiographic results in this series.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes
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