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1.  Kyphosis in spinal tuberculosis – Prevention and correction 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2010;44(2):127-136.
Spinal deformity and paraplegia/quadriplegia are the most common complications of tuberculosis (TB) of spine. TB of dorsal spine almost always produces kyphosis while cervical and lumbar spine shows reversal of lordosis to begin with followed by kyphosis. kyphosis continues to increase in adults when patients are treated nonoperatively or by surgical decompression. In children, kyphosis continues to increase even after healing of the tubercular disease. The residual, healed kyphosis on a long follow-up produces painful costopelvic impingement, reduced vital capacity and eventually respiratory complications; spinal canal stenosis proximal to the kyphosis and paraplegia with healed disease, thus affecting the quality and span of life. These complications can be avoided by early diagnosis of tubercular spine lesion to heal with minimal or no kyphosis. When tubercular lesion reports with kyphosis of more than 50° or is likely to progress further, they should be undertaken for kyphus correction. The sequential steps of kyphosis correction include anterior decompression and corpectomy, posterior column shortening, posterior instrumentation, anterior bone grafting and posterior fusion. During the procedure, the spinal cord should be kept under vision so that it should not elongate. Internal kyphectomy (gibbectomy) is a preferred treatment for late onset paraplegia with severe healed kyphosis.
PMCID: PMC2856387  PMID: 20418999
Kyphotic deformity; late onset paraplegia; TB spine; kyphus correction; extrapleural anterolateral approach
2.  Simultaneously anterior decompression and posterior instrumentation by extrapleural retroperitoneal approach in thoracolumbar lesions 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2010;44(4):409-416.
Anterior decompression with posterior instrumentation when indicated in thoracolumbar spinal lesions if performed simultaneously in single-stage expedites rehabilitation and recovery. Transthoracic, transdiaphragmatic approach to access the thoracolumbar junction is associated with significant morbidity, as it violates thoracic cavity; requires cutting of diaphragm and a separate approach, for posterior instrumentation. We evaluated the clinical outcome morbidity and feasibility of extrapleural retroperitoneal approach to perform anterior decompression and posterior instrumentation simultaneously by single “T” incision outcome in thoracolumbar spinal trauma and tuberculosis.
Patients and Methods:
Forty-eight cases of tubercular spine (n = 25) and fracture of the spine (n = 23) were included in the study of which 29 were male and 19 female. The mean age of patients was 29.1 years. All patients underwent single-stage anterior decompression, fusion, and posterior instrumentation (except two old traumatic cases) via extrapleural retroperitoneal approach by single “T” incision. Tuberculosis cases were operated in lateral position as they were stabilized with Hartshill instrumentation. For traumatic spine initially posterior pedicle screw fixation was performed in prone position and then turned to right lateral position for anterior decompression by same incision and approach. They were evaluated for blood loss, duration of surgery, superficial and deep infection of incision site, flap necrosis, correction of the kyphotic deformity, and restoration of anterior and posterior vertebral body height.
In traumatic spine group the mean duration of surgery was 269 minutes (range 215–315 minutes) including the change over time from prone to lateral position. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 918 ml (range 550–1100 ml). The preoperative mean ASIA motor, pin prick and light touch score improved from 63.3 to 74.4, 86 to 94.4 and 86 to 96 at 6 month of follow-up respectively. The mean preoperative loss of the anterior vertebral height improved from 44.7% to 18.4% immediate postoperatively and was 17.5% at final follow-up at 1 year. The means preoperative kyphus angle also improved from 23.3° to 9.3° immediately after surgery, which deteriorated to 11.5° at final follow-up. One patient developed deep wound infection at the operative site as well as flap necrosis, which needed debridement and removal of hardware. Five patients had bed sore in the sacral region, which healed uneventfully. In tubercular spine (n=25) group, mean operating time was approximately 45 minutes less than traumatic group. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 1100 ml (750–2200 ml). The mean preoperative kyphosis was corrected from 55° to 23°. Wound healing occurred uneventful in 23 cases and wound dehiscence occurred in only 2 cases. Nine out of 11 cases with paraplegia showed excellent neural recovery while 2 with panvertebral disease showed partial neural recovery. None of the patients in both groups required intensive unit care.
Simultaneous exposure of both posterior and anterior column of the spine for posterior instrumentation and anterior decompression and fusion in single stage by extra pleural retroperitoneal approach by “T” incision in thoracolumbar spinal lesions is safe, an easy alternative with reduced morbidity as chest and abdominal cavities are not violated, ICU care is not required and diaphragm is not cut.
PMCID: PMC2947728  PMID: 20924482
Extra pleural retroperitoneal approach; thoracolumbar spine; spinal trauma; tuberculosis of spine
3.  Outcomes of anterior and posterior instrumentation under different surgical procedures for treating thoracic and lumbar spinal tuberculosis in adults 
International Orthopaedics  2011;36(2):299-305.
There are few articles in the literature comparing outcomes between anterior and posterior instrumentation in the management of thoracic and lumbar spinal tuberculosis (TB).
Between January 2004 and December 2009, 217 adult patients, average age 39 (range 16–67) years with thoracic and lumbar spinal TB were treated by anterior radical debridement and fusion plus instrumentation, anterior radical debridement with fusion and posterior fusion with instrumentation, posterolateral debridement and fusion plus posterior instrumentation or transpedicular debridement and posterior fusion with instrumentation in a single- or two-stage procedure. We followed up 165 patients for 22–72 (mean 37) months. Of these, 138 underwent more than three weeks chemotherapy with isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol, and the remaining 27 underwent operation for neurological impairment within six to 18 hours of the same chemotherapy regimen. In no case did relapse occur. Apart from eight patients with skip lesions treated by hybrid anterior and posterior instrumentation, anterior instrumentation was used in 74 patients (group A) and 83 patients (group B) were fixed posteriorly.
In both groups, local symptoms were relieved significantly one to three weeks postoperatively; ten of 14 patients (71%) in group A and 14 of 19 (74%) in group B with neurological deficit had excellent or good clinical results (P > 0.05). Erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR) returned from 43.6 mm/h and 42.7 mm/h, respectively, preoperatively to normal levels eight to 12 weeks postoperatively. Kyphosis degree was corrected by a mean of 11.5° in group A and 12.6° in group B, respectively (P < 0.01). Correction loss was 6.8° in group A and 6.1° in group B at the last follow-up (P < 0.01). Fusion rates of the grafting bone were 92.5% and 91.8%, respectively, at final follow-up (P > 0.05). Severe complications did not occur.
These results suggest that both anterior and posterior instrumentation attain good results for correction of the deformity and maintaining correction, foci clearance, spinal-cord decompression and pain relief in the treatment of thoracic and lumbar spinal TB providing that the opeartive indication is accurately identified. However, the posterior approach may be superior to anterior instrumentation to correct deformity and maintain that correction.
PMCID: PMC3282852  PMID: 22042304
4.  Surgical treatment of a 180° thoracolumbar fixed kyphosis in a young achondroplastic patient: a one-stage “in situ” combined fusion and spinal cord translocation 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(11):1807-1811.
An achondroplastic patient with a thoracolumbar kyphosis was first seen at the age of 16 at our institution. His only concern at that time was the aesthetic implication of his deformity. His physical examination was normal except for loss of the neurologic reflexes in the lower limbs. The radiographs showed a fixed 180° thoracolumbar kyphosis with correct frontal and sagittal balances. No spinal cord anomaly was found on MRI. Two years later, he developed a progressive neurogenic claudication of the lower limbs. He was still neurologically intact at rest. The MRI showed an abnormal central spinal cord signal in front of the apex of the kyphosis associated with the narrow congenital spinal canal. In regards to this progressive neurological worsening, a surgical treatment was decided. We decided to perform a front and back arthrodesis combined with a spinal cord decompression without reduction of the deformity. A five-level hemilaminotomy was performed with a posterior approach at the kyphosis deformity. The spinal cord was individualised onto 10 cm and the left nerve roots were isolated. A decancellation osteotomy of the three apex vertebrae and a disc excision were performed. The posterior aspect of the vertebral body was then translated forward 2 cm and in association with the spinal cord. Two nerve roots were severed laterally to approach the anterior part of the kyphosis and a peroneal strut graft was inlayed anterolaterally. A complementary anterior and a right posterolateral fusion was made with cancellous bone. The patient was immobilised in a cast for 3 months relayed by a thoracolumbosacral orthosis for 6 months. At 3 years follow-up, the neurogenic claudication had disappeared. No worsening of the kyphosis was observed. His only complaint is violent electric shock in the lower limbs with any external sudden pressure on the spinal cord in the area uncovered by bone.
PMCID: PMC2989264  PMID: 20714758
Achondroplasia; Thoracolumbar kyphosis; Spinal stenosis
5.  One-stage anterior interbody autografting and instrumentation in primary surgical management of thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis 
European Spine Journal  2003;13(2):114-121.
There are few articles in the literature concerning anterior instrumentation in the surgical management of spinal tuberculosis in the exudative stage. So we report here 23 cases of active thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis treated by one-stage anterior interbody autografting and instrumentation to verify the importance of early reconstruction of spinal stability and to evaluate the results of one-stage interbody autografting and anterior instrumentation in the surgical management of the exudative stage of throracolumbar spinal tuberculosis. Twenty-three patients, including two children (9 and 15 years old, respectively) and 21 adults with thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis were treated surgically. T9 to L4 spinal segments were affected, and MRI/CT showed evident collapse of the vertebrae because of tuberculous destruction and paravertebral abscess. Neurological deficits were found in 15 patients. Before surgery, patients received standard anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy for 2 to 3 weeks. Under general endotracheal anaesthesia, the patients were placed in right recumbent positions, and a transthoracic, lateral extracavitary or extrapleural approach was chosen according to the tuberculosis lesion segment. After exposure, the tuberculous lesion region, including the collapsed vertebrae and in-between intervertebral disc, was almost completely resected in order to release the segmental spinal cord. Then, autologous iliac, rib or fibular graft was harvested to complete interbody fusion, and an anterior titanium-alloy plate-screw system was used to reconstruct the stability of the affected segments. Anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy was continued for at least 9 months, and the patients were supported with thoracolumbosacral orthosis for 6 months after surgery. All patients were followed up for an average of 2 years. All 23 cases were healed without chronic sinus formation or any recurrence of tuberculosis during the follow-up period. Spinal fusion occurred at a mean of 3.8 months after surgery. Of all patients with neurological deficits, 14 patients showed obvious improvement; only one patient with Frankel C lesion remained unchanged, but none of the patients got worse. During the follow-up period, a mean of 18 degrees of kyphosis correction was achieved after surgery in the adult group. Moderate progressive kyphosis because of this procedure fusion occurred postoperatively in a 9-year-old child after 2 1/2 years; another 15-year-old child did not demonstrate this phenomenon. Except for the early loosening of one screw in two cases (which did not affect the reconstruction of spinal stability), no other complications associated with this procedure were found during follow-up. Early reconstruction of spinal stability plays an important role in the surgical management of spinal tuberculosis. One-stage anterior interbody autografting and instrumentation in the surgical management of the exudative stage of spinal tuberculosis show more advantages in selected patients, but supplementary posterior fusion should be considered to prevent postoperative kyphosis when this procedure is performed in children.
PMCID: PMC3476570  PMID: 14685831
Spinal tuberculosis; Anterior interbody fusion; Instrumentation; Spinal instability
6.  Outcome of minimally invasive surgery in the management of tuberculous spondylitis 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2012;46(2):159-164.
With the advancement of instrumentation and minimally access techniques in the field of spine surgery, good surgical decompression and instrumentation can be done for tuberculous spondylitis with known advantage of MIS (minimally invasive surgery). The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of the minimally invasive techniques in the surgical treatment of patients with tuberculous spondylodiscitis.
Materials and Methods:
23 patients (Group A) with a mean age 38.2 years with single-level spondylodiscitis between T4-T11 treated with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) involving anterior debridement and fusion and 15 patients (Group B) with a mean age of 32.5 years who underwent minimally invasive posterior pedicle screw instrumentation and mini open posterolateral debridement and fusion were included in study. The study was conducted from Mar 2003 to Dec 2009 duration. The indication of surgery was progressive neurological deficit and/or instability. The patients were evaluated for blood loss, duration of surgery, VAS scores, improvement in kyphosis, and fusion status. Improvement in neurology was documented and functional outcome was judged by oswestry disability index (ODI).
The mean blood loss in Group A (VATS category) was 780 ml (330-1180 ml) and the operative time averaged was 228 min (102-330 min). The average preoperative kyphosis in Group A was 38° which was corrected to 30°. Twenty-two patients who underwent VATS had good fusion (Grade I and Grade II) with failure of fusion in one. Complications occurred in seven patients who underwent VATS. The mean blood loss was 625 ml (350-800 ml) with an average duration of surgery of 255 min (180-345 min) in the percutaneous posterior instrumentation group (Group B). The average preoperative segmental (kyphosis) Cobb's angle of three patients with thoracic TB in Group B was 41.25° (28-48°), improved to 14.5°(11°- 21°) in the immediate postoperative period (71.8% correction). The average preoperative segmental kyphosis in another 12 patients in Group B with lumbar tuberculosis of 20.25° improved to –12.08° of lordosis with 32.33° average correction of deformity. Good fusion (Grade I and Grade II) was achieved in 14 patients and Grade III fusion in 1 patient in Group B. One patient suffered with pseudoarthrosis/doubtful fusion with screw loosening in the percutaneous group.
Good fusion rate with encouraging functional results can be obtained in caries spine with minimally invasive techniques with all the major advantages of a minimally invasive procedures including reduction in approach-related morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3308656  PMID: 22448053
Minimally invasive spine surgery; tuberculous spondylodiscitis; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
7.  Short term analysis of healed post-tubercular kyphosis in younger children based on principles of congenital kyphosis 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2012;46(2):179-185.
The patients with healed severe progressive tubercular kyphosis may develop late-onset paraplegia. A particular subgroup of these children (Type IB progression) may benefit from the management principles of congenital kyphosis. Self-correction may be observed by selective continued growth of anterior vertebral epiphyseal end-plates over the posterior fused mass. We report a series of cases with posterior fusion of progressive post-tubercular kyphosis with an aim to prevent further progression of kyphosis and to assess if any gradual self correction is seen in followup.
Materials and Methods:
Twelve children fulfilling inclusion criteria of clinicoradiological, hematological diagnosis of healed spine TB having no or <2 spine at risk signs having documented progression of kyphosis and neural deficit underwent posterior fusion in situ without instrumentation, using autogenous iliac crest grafts as well as allograft donor bone graft. They were followed up to maximum of 5 years.
All 12 children had a progressive increase in angle preoperatively. Mean followup was 3.6 years. Post surgery, 66% showed a clinical improvement and correction, 25% had static angle, and worsening in one patient. Thus, overall 91% have a favorable result.
The mechanism of correction of deformity in presence of posterior fusion is continued growth of the anterior epiphyseal end plates and hence this leads to selective differential anterior column growth giving gradual correction of kyphosis. This avoids anterior, technically demanding and complex, internal gibbus surgeries. This procedure is simple, safe, and less morbid with good results, avoiding long term disability to the patients in selected group of patients.
PMCID: PMC3308659  PMID: 22448056
Kyphosis; posterior fusion; tuberculosis; children
8.  One-stage surgical management for children with spinal tuberculosis by anterior decompression and posterior instrumentation 
International Orthopaedics  2009;33(5):1385-1390.
The goal of this study was to assess the efficacy of one-stage surgical management for children with spinal tuberculosis by anterior decompression, bone grafting, posterior instrumentation, and fusion. Between January 2002 and December 2006, 15 cases with spinal tuberculosis were treated with one-stage posterior internal fixation and anterior debridement. All cases were followed-up for an average of 30.3 months (range 12–48 months). The average neurological recovery in the patients was 0.93 grades on the scale of Frankel et al. (Paraplegia 7:179–192, 1969). The average preoperative kyphosis was 36° (range 19–59°), and the average postoperative kyphosis was 23° (range 15–38°) at final follow-up. At final follow-up, minimal progression of kyphosis was seen, with an average kyphosis of 27° (range 16–40°). An average loss of correction of 4° was seen at final follow-up. One-stage surgical management for children with spinal tuberculosis by anterior decompression, bone grafting, posterior instrumentation, and fusion was feasible and effective.
PMCID: PMC2899114  PMID: 19340427
9.  Indirect posterior decompression with corrective fusion for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the thoracic spine: is it possible to predict the surgical results? 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(7):943-948.
To investigation of the outcomes of indirect posterior decompression with corrective fusion for myelopathy associated with thoracic ossification of the longitudinal ligament, and prognostic factors. Conservative treatment for myelopathy associated with thoracic ossification of the longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is mostly ineffective, and treatment is necessary. However, many authors have reported poor surgical outcomes, and no standard surgical procedure has been established. We have been performing indirect spinal cord decompression by posterior laminectomy and simultaneous corrective fusion of the thoracic kyphosis. Twenty patients underwent indirect posterior decompression with corrective fusion, and were included in this study. The follow-up period was minimum 2 years and averaged 2 years and 9 months (2–5 years 6 months). Operative results were examined using JOA scoring system (full marks: 11 points) and Hirabayashi’s recovery rate, as excellent (100–75%), good (74–50%), fair (49–25%), unchanged (24–0%) and deteriorated (i.e., decrease in score less than 0%). Cases in which the spinal cord is floating from OPLL on intraoperative ultrasonography were defined as the floating (+) group, and those without floating as the floating (−) group. In addition, we used compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) as intraoperative spinal cord monitoring and the cases were divided into three groups: Group A, no change in potential; Group B, potential decreased, and Group C, potential improved. The mean pre- and postoperative JOA scores were 6.2 and 8.9 points, respectively, and the recovery rate was 56%. The outcome was rated excellent in three, good in eight, fair in six, unchanged in two, and deteriorated in one. The mean preoperative thoracic kyphosis measured 58°, and was corrected to 51° after surgery. On intraoperative ultrasonography, 12 cases were included in the floating (+) and 8 in the floating (−) groups; the recovery rates were 58 and 52%, respectively, showing no significant difference between the recovery rates of the two groups. Regarding intraoperative CMAP, the outcome was excellent in one, good in seven, fair in four, and unchanged in one in Group A; fair in one, unchanged in one, and deteriorated in one in Group B, and excellent in two and good in one in Group C. The recovery rates were 50, 48 and 68.3% in Groups A, B and C, respectively, showing that the postoperative outcome was significantly poorer in Group B. Although indirect posterior decompression with corrective fusion using instruments obtained satisfactory outcomes, not all cases achieved good outcomes using this procedure. We consider that additional application of anterior decompressive fusion is preferable when improvement of symptoms occurs not satisfactory after indirect posterior decompression with corrective fusion using instruments. Intraoperative spinal cord monitoring of CMAP demonstrated that the spinal cord was already impaired during the laminectomy via the posterior approach. Concomitant intraoperative monitoring of CMAP to avoid impairment of the vulnerable spinal cord and corrective posterior spinal fusion with indirect spinal cord decompression is recommendable as a method capable of preventing postoperative neurological aggravation.
PMCID: PMC2899584  PMID: 19347374
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament; Thoracic myelopathy; Spinal cord monitoring; Intraoperative ultrasonography
10.  Anterior versus posterior procedure for surgical treatment of thoracolumbar tuberculosis: A retrospective analysis 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2012;46(2):165-170.
Approach for surgical treatment of thoracolumbar tuberculosis has been controversial. The aim of present study is to compare the clinical, radiological and functional outcome of anterior versus posterior debridement and spinal fixation for the surgical treatment of thoracic and thoracolumbar tuberculosis.
Materials and Methods:
70 patients with spinal tuberculosis treated surgically between Jan 2001 and Dec 2006 were included in the study. Thirty four patients (group I) with mean age 34.9 years underwent anterior debridement, decompression and instrumentation by anterior transthoracic, transpleural and/or retroperitoneal diaphragm cutting approach. Thirty six patients (group II) with mean age of 33.6 years were operated by posterolateral (extracavitary) decompression and posterior instrumentation. Various parameters like blood loss, surgical time, levels of instrumentation, neurological recovery, and kyphosis improvement were compared. Fusion assessment was done as per Bridwell criteria. Functional outcome was assessed using Prolo scale. Mean followup was 26 months.
Mean surgical time in group I was 5 h 10 min versus 4 h 50 min in group II (P>0.05). Average blood loss in group I was 900 ml compared to 1100 ml in group II (P>0.05). In group I, the percentage immediate correction in kyphosis was 52.27% versus 72.80% in group II. Satisfactory bony fusion (grades I and II) was seen in 100% patients in group I versus 97.22% in group II. Three patients in group I needed prolonged immediate postoperative ICU support compared to one in group II. Injury to lung parenchyma was seen in one patient in group I while the anterior procedure had to be abandoned in one case due to pleural adhesions. Functional outcome (Prolo scale) in group II was good in 94.4% patients compared to 88.23% patients in group I.
Though the anterior approach is an equally good method for debridement and stabilization, kyphus correction is better with posterior instrumentation and the posterior approach is associated with less morbidity and complications.
PMCID: PMC3308657  PMID: 22448054
Anterior approach; extracavitary approach; posterior approach; Pott's spine
11.  Single-stage closing–opening wedge osteotomy of spine to correct severe post-tubercular kyphotic deformities of the spine: a 3-year follow-up of 17 patients 
European Spine Journal  2009;19(4):583-592.
The correction of severe post-tubercular kyphosis (PTK) is complex and has the disadvantage of being multiple staged with a high morbidity. Here, we describe the procedure and results of closing–opening osteotomy for correction of PTK which shortens the posterior column and opens the anterior column appropriately to correct the deformity without altering the length of the spinal cord. Seventeen patients with PTK (10 males; 7 females) with an average age of 18.3 ± 10.6 years (range 4–40 years) formed the study group. There were ten thoracolumbar, one lumbar and six thoracic deformities. The number of vertebrae involved ranged from 2 to 5 (average 2.8). Preoperative kyphosis averaged 69.2° ± 25.1° (range 42°–104°) which included ten patients with deformity greater than 60°. The average vertebral body loss was 2.01 ± 0.79 (range 1.1–4.1). The neurological status was normal in 13 patients, Frankel’s grade D in three patients and grade C in one. Posterior stabilization with pedicle screw instrumentation was followed by a preoperatively calculated wedge resection. Anterior column reconstruction was performed using rib grafts in four, tricortical iliac bone graft in five, cages in six, and bone chips alone and fibular graft in one patient each. Average operating time was 280 min (200–340 min) with an average blood loss of 820 ml (range 500–1,600 ml). The postoperative kyphosis averaged 32.4° ± 19.5° (range 8°–62°). The percentage correction of kyphosis achieved was 56.8 ± 14.6% (range 32–83%). No patient with normal preoperative neurological status showed deterioration in neurology after surgery. The last follow-up was at an average of 43 ± 4 months (range 32–64 months). The average loss of correction at the last follow-up was 5.4° (range 3°–9°). At the last follow-up, the mean preoperative pain visual analogue scale score decreased significantly from 9.2 (range 8–10 points) to 1.5 (range 1–2 points). There was also a significant decrease in mean preoperative Oswestry’s Disability Index from 56.4 (range 46–68) to 10.6 (range 6–15). Complications were superficial wound infections in two, neurological deterioration in one, temporary jaundice in one and implant failure requiring revision in one. Single-stage closing–opening wedge osteotomy is an effective method to correct severe PTK. The procedure has the advantage of being a posterior only, single-stage correction, which allows for significant correction with minimal complications.
PMCID: PMC2899834  PMID: 20013004
Tuberculosis; Kyphosis; Closing–opening wedge; Osteotomy
12.  The surgical treatment and related management for post-tubercular kyphotic deformity of the cervical spine or the cervico-thoracic spine 
International Orthopaedics  2012;36(2):367-372.
The outcomes of surgical treatment and related complications of post-tubercular kyphotic (PTK) deformity of the cervical spine or the cervico-thoracic spine were evaluated.
From January 2005 to October 2010, 12 cases with PTK (7 males, 5 females) with an average age of 30 years (range 21–43 years) formed the study group. There were ten patients with cervical deformities and two with cervico-thoracic kyphosis. Neurological function of all the patients was evaluated by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and visual analogue scale (VAS) score. Two patients with severe cervico-thoracic deformity received modified skeleton traction pre-operatively. Ten patients underwent anterior debridement and reconstruction, using iliac crest or cages with autografts, while two patients with cervico-thoracic kyphosis received posterior instrumentation and fusion.
The mean pre-operative focal kyphotic angle was 42.58° (range 30–67°), reducing to −8° (range −15–11°) postoperatively (at the last follow-up visit). The average operating time was 117.50 min (80–200 min) with an average blood loss of 110 ml (range 50–300 ml). Neurological assessment of all the patients, using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and visual analogue scale (VAS) score, was improved significantly after surgery. All patients had solid fusion and no major complication was observed in the follow-up.
One-stage anterior debridement, instrumentation and fusion for cervical spinal TB and single posterior instrumentation for cervico-thoracic spinal TB followed by chemotherapy is practical to correct PTK. The procedure has the advantage of lower blood loss, effective kyphosis correction and minimal complications. To patients with severe deformity, skeletal traction seemed indispensible.
PMCID: PMC3282862  PMID: 22215364
13.  Single-stage posterior instrumentation and anterior debridement for active tuberculosis of the thoracic and lumbar spine with kyphotic deformity 
International Orthopaedics  2011;36(2):373-380.
The purpose of this study was to validate the efficacy and safety of single-stage posterior instrumentation and anterior debridement for treatment of active spinal tuberculosis with kyphotic deformity.
From January 2005 to January 2009, 13 males and 24 females were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent single-stage posterior instrumentation and fusion, combined with anterior radical debridement and bone grafting. Clinical and radiographic results were analysed.
Patients were followed-up for 33.6 months on average. Bony fusion was achieved at six- to nine-month follow-up in all patients. The respective average kyphosis at the pre-operative and the last follow-up was 53.5° and 12.6°, with a mean correction of 40.9° (78.5%). Neurologic recovery averaged 1.5 grades on the Frankel scale. No recurrence of tuberculosis or instrumentation failure occurred.
Single-stage posterior instrumentation and anterior debridement with fusion was demonstrated to be a safe and effective method to achieve spinal decompression and kyphosis correction in patients with Pott’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3282870  PMID: 22038489
14.  Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation in neuromuscular scoliosis 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(Suppl 1):75-84.
The study design is retrospective. The aim is to describe our experience about the treatment of patients with neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) using Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation. Neuromuscular scoliosis are difficult deformities to treat. A careful assessment and an understanding of the primary disease and its prognosis are essential for planning treatment which is aimed at maximizing function. These patients may have pelvic obliquity, dislocation of the hip, limited balance or ability to sit, back pain, and, in some cases, a serious decrease in pulmonary function. Spinal deformity is difficult to control with a brace, and it may progress even after skeletal maturity has been reached. Surgery is the main stay of treatment for selected patients. The goals of surgery are to correct the deformity producing a balanced spine with a level pelvis and a solid spinal fusion to prevent or delay secondary respiratory complications. The instrumented spinal fusion (ISF) with second-generation instrumentation (e.g., Luque–Galveston and unit rod constructs), are until 1990s considered the gold standard surgical technique for neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS). Still in 2008 Tsirikos et al. said that “the Unit rod instrumentation is a common standard technique and the primary instrumentation system for the treatment of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis because it is simple to use, it is considerably less expensive than most other systems, and can achieve good deformity correction with a low loss of correction, as well as a low prevalence of associated complications and a low reoperation rate.” In spite of the Cotrel–Dubousset (CD) surgical technique, used since the beginning of the mid 1980s, being already considered the highest level achieved in correction of scoliosis by a posterior approach, Teli et al., in 2006, said that reports are lacking on the results of third-generation instrumentation for the treatment of NMS. Patients with neuromuscular disease and spinal deformity treated between 1984 and 2008 consecutively by the senior author (G.D.G.) with Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation and minimum 36 months follow-up were reviewed, evaluating correction of coronal deformity, sagittal balance and pelvic obliquity, and rate of complications. 24 patients (Friedreich’s ataxia, 1; cerebral palsy, 14; muscular dystrophy, 2; polio, 2; syringomyelia, 3; spinal atrophy, 2) were included. According the evidence that the study period is too long (1984–2008) and that in more than 20 years many things changed in surgical strategy and techniques, all patients were divided in two groups: only hooks (8 patients) or hybrid construct (16 patients). Mean age was 18.1 years at surgery (range 11 years 7 months–max 31 years; in 17 cases the age at surgery time was between 10 and 20 years old; in 6 cases it was between 20 and 30 and only in 1 case was over 30 years old). Mean follow-up was 142 months (range 36–279). The most frequent patterns of scoliosis were thoracic (10 cases) and thoracolumbar (9 cases). In 8 cases we had hypokyphosis, in 6 normal kyphosis and in 9 hyperkyphosis. In 8 cases we had a normal lordosis, in 11 a hypolordosis and in 4 a hyperlordosis. In 1 case we had global T4–L4 kyphosis. In 8 cases there were also a thoracolumbar kyphosis (mean value 24°, min 20°–max 35°). The mean fusion area included 13 vertebrae (range 6–19); in 17 cases the upper end vertebra was over T4 and in 11 cases the lower end vertebra was over L4 or L5. In 7 cases the lower end vertebra was S1 to correct the pelvic obliquity. In 5 cases the severity of the deformity (mean Cobb’s angle 84.2°) imposed a preoperative halo traction treatment. There were 5 anteroposterior and 19 posterior-only procedures. In 10 cases, with low bone quality, the arthrodesis was performed using iliac grafting technique while in the other (14 cases) using autologous bone graft obtained in situ from vertebral arches and spinous processes (in all 7 cases with fusion extended until S1, it was augmented with calcium phosphate). The mean correction of coronal deformity and pelvic obliquity averaged, respectively, 57.2% (min 31.8%; max 84.8%) and 58.9% (mean value preoperative, 18.43°; mean value postoperative, 7.57°; mean value at last follow-up, 7.57°). The sagittal balance was always restored, reducing hypo or hyperkyphosis and hypo or hyperlordosis. Also in presence of a global kyphosis, we observed a very good restoration (preoperatory, 65°; postoperatory, 18° kyphosis and 30° lordosis, unmodified at last f.u.). The thoracolumbar kyphosis, when present (33.3% of our group) was always corrected to physiological values (mean 2°, min 0°–max 5°). The mean intraoperative blood lost were 2,100 cc (min 1,400, max 5,350). Major complications affected 8.3% of patients, and included 1 postoperative death and 1 deep infection. Minor complications affected none of patients. CD technique provides lasting correction of spinal deformity in patients with neuromuscular scoliosis, with a lower complications rate compared to reports on second-generation instrumented spinal fusion.
PMCID: PMC3087033  PMID: 21404030
Neuromuscular scoliosis; Cotrel–Dubousset; Spinal fusion
15.  Instrumented stabilization in spinal tuberculosis 
International Orthopaedics  2011;36(2):285-292.
Spinal tuberculosis (TB) produces neurological complications and grotesque spinal deformity, which in children increases even with treatment and after achieving healing. Long-standing, severe deformity leads to painful costo-pelvic impingement, respiratory distress, risk of developing late-onset paraplegia and consequent reduction in quality and longevity of life. The treatment objective is to avoid the sequelae of neural complications and achieve the healed status with a near-normal spine. In TB, the spine may become unstable if all three columns are diseased. Pathological fracture/dislocation of a diseased vertebral body may occur secondary to mechanical insult. Surgical decompression adds further instability, as part of the diseased vertebral body is excised. The insertion of a metallic implant is to provide mechanical stability and the use of an implant in tubercular infection is safe. Indications for instrumented stabilisation can be categorised as: (a) pan vertebral disease, in which all three columns are diseased; (b) long-segment disease, in which after surgical decompression a bone graft >5 cm is inserted with instrumentation to prevent graft-related complications and consequent progression of kyphosis and neural complications and (c) when surgical correction of a kyphosis is performed when both anterior decompression and posterior column shortening is required. The implant choice should be individualised according to the case. Pedicle screw fixation in kyphus correction in healed disease is a most suitable implant. Hartshill sublaminar wiring stabilisation in active disease is a suitable implant to stabilise the spine, taking purchase against healthy posterior complex of the vertebral body to save a segment.
PMCID: PMC3282857  PMID: 21720864
16.  Spinal shortening and monosegmental posterior spondylodesis in the management of dorsal and lumbar unstable injuries 
Patients with spinal injuries have been treated in the past by laminectomy in an attempt to decompress the spinal cord. The results have shown insignificant improvement or even a worsening of neurologic function and decreased stability without effectively removing the anterior bone and disc fragments compressing the spinal cord. The primary indication for anterior decompression and grafting is narrowing of the spinal canal with neurologic deficits that cannot be resolved by any other approach. One must think of subsequent surgical intervention for increased stability and compressive posterior fusion with short-armed internal fixators.
To analyze the results and efficacy of spinal shortening combined with interbody fusion technique for the management of dorsal and lumbar unstable injuries.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-three patients with traumatic fractures and or fracture-dislocation of dorsolumbar spine with neurologic deficit are presented. All had radiologic evidence of spinal cord or cauda equina compression, with either paraplegia or paraparesis. Patients underwent recapping laminoplasty in the thoracic or lumbar spine for decompression of spinal cord. The T-saw was used for division of the posterior elements. After decompression of the cord and removal of the extruded bone fragments and disc material, the excised laminae were replaced exactly in situ to their original anatomic position. Then application of a compression force via monosegmental transpedicular fixation was done, allowing vertebral end-plate compression and interbody fusion.
Lateral Cobb angle (T10–L2) was reduced from 26 to 4 degrees after surgery. The shortened vertebral body united and no or minimal loss of correction was seen. The preoperative vertebral kyphosis averaged +17 degrees and was corrected to +7 degrees at follow-up with the sagittal index improving from 0.59 to 0.86. The segmental local kyphosis was reduced from +15 degrees to −3 degrees. Radiography demonstrated anatomically correct reconstruction in all patients, as well as solid fusion.
This technique permits circumferential decompression of the spinal cord through a posterior approach and posterior interbody fusion.
PMCID: PMC3122988  PMID: 21716869
Injury; laminoplasty; spine; shortening; spondylodesis
17.  Anterior radical debridement and anterior instrumentation in tuberculosis spondylitis 
European Spine Journal  2002;12(2):224-234.
The conventional procedure in the treatment of vertebral tuberculosis is drainage of the abscess, curettage of the devitalized vertebra and application of an antituberculous chemotherapy regimen. Posterior instrumentation results are encouraging in the prevention or treatment of late kyphosis; however, a second-stage operation is needed. Recently, posterolateral or transpedicular drainage without anterior drainage or posterior instrumentation following anterior drainage in the same session has become the preferred treatment, in order that kyphotic deformity can be avoided. Information on the use of anterior instrumentation along with radical debridement and fusion is scarce. This study reports on the surgical results of 63 patients with Pott's disease who underwent anterior radical debridement with anterior fusion and anterior instrumentation (23 patients with Z-plate and 40 patients with CDH system). Average age at the time of operation was 46.8±13.4 years. Average duration of follow-up was 50.9±12.9 months. Local kyphosis was measured preoperatively, postoperatively and at the last follow-up visit as the angle between the upper and lower end plates of the collapsed vertebrae. Vertebral collapse, destruction, cold abscess, and canal compromise were assessed on magnetic resonance (MR) images. It was observed that the addition of anterior instrumentation increased the rate of correction of the kyphotic deformity (79.7±20.1%), and was effective in maintaining it, with an average loss of 1.1°±1.7°. Of the 25 patients (39.7%) with neurological symptoms, 20 (80%) had full and 4 (16%) partial recoveries. There were very few intraoperative and postoperative complications (major vessel complication: 3.2%; secondary non-specific infection: 3.2%). Disease reactivation was not seen with the employment of an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. It was concluded that anterior instrumentation is a safe and effective method in the treatment of tuberculosis spondylitis.
PMCID: PMC3784847  PMID: 12709862
Pott's disease Surgical treatment Anterior instrumentation
18.  Treatment of acute thoracolumbar burst fractures with kyphoplasty and short pedicle screw fixation: Transpedicular intracorporeal grafting with calcium phosphate: A prospective study 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2007;41(4):354-361.
In the surgical treatment of thoracolumbar fractures, the major problem after posterior correction and transpedicular instrumentation is failure to support the anterior spinal column, leading to loss of correction and instrumentation failure with associated complaints. We conducted this prospective study to evaluate the outcome of the treatment of acute thoracolumbar burst fractures by transpedicular balloon kyphoplasty, grafting with calcium phosphate cement and short pedicle screw fixation plus fusion.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-three consecutive patients of thoracolumbar (T9 to L4) burst fracture with or without neurologic deficit with an average age of 43 years, were included in this prospective study. Twenty-one from the 23 patients had single burst fracture while the remaining two patients had a burst fracture and additionally an adjacent A1-type fracture. On admission six (26%) out of 23 patients had neurological deficit (five incomplete, one complete). Bilateral transpedicular balloon kyphoplasty with liquid calcium phosphate to reduce segmental kyphosis and restore vertebral body height and short (three vertebrae) pedicle screw instrumentation with posterolateral fusion was performed. Gardner kyphosis angle, anterior and posterior vertebral body height ratio and spinal canal encroachment were calculated pre- to postoperatively.
All 23 patients were operated within two days after admission and were followed for at least 12 months after index surgery. Operating time and blood loss averaged 45 min and 60 cc respectively. The five patients with incomplete neurological lesions improved by at least one ASIA grade, while no neurological deterioration was observed in any case. The VAS and SF-36 (Role physical and Bodily pain domains) were significantly improved postoperatively. Overall sagittal alignment was improved from an average preoperative 16° to one degree kyphosis at final followup observation. The anterior vertebral body height ratio improved from 0.6 preoperatively to 0.9 (P<0.001) postoperatively, while posterior vertebral body height improved from 0.95 to 1 (P<0.01). Spinal canal encroachment was reduced from an average 32% preoperatively to 20% postoperatively. Cement leakage was observed in four cases (three anterior to vertebral body and one into the disc without sequalae). In the last CT evaluation, there was a continuity between calcium phosphate and cancellous vertebral body bone. Posterolateral radiological fusion was achieved within six months after index operation. There was no instrumentation failure or measurable loss of sagittal curve and vertebral height correction in any group of patients.
Balloon kyphoplasty with calcium phosphate cement secured with posterior short fixation in the thoracolumbar spine provided excellent immediate reduction of posttraumatic segmental kyphosis and significant spinal canal clearance and restored vertebral body height in the fracture level.
PMCID: PMC2989509  PMID: 21139791
Balloon kyphoplasty; calcium phosphate; neurological deficit; pedicle screw; short internal fixation; thoracolumbar vertebral fracture; transpedicular grafting
19.  Titanium cages in the surgical treatment of severe vertebral osteomyelitis 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(6):606-612.
The role of spinal implants in the presence of infection is critically discussed. In this study 20 patients with destructive vertebral osteomyelitis were surgically treated with one-stage posterior instrumentation and fusion and anterior debridement, decompression and anterior column reconstruction using an expandable titanium cage filled with morsellised autologous bone graft. The patients' records and radiographs were retrospectively analysed and follow-up clinical and radiographic data obtained. At a mean follow-up of 23 months (range 12–56 months) all cages were radiographically fused and all infections eradicated. There were no cases of cage dislocation, migration or subsidence. Local kyphosis was corrected from 9.2° (range −20° to 64°) by 9.4° to −0.2° (range −32° to 40°) postoperatively and lost 0.9° during follow-up . All five patients with preoperative neurological deficits improved to Frankel score D or E. Patient-perceived disability caused by back pain averaged 7.9 (range 0–22) in the Roland–Morris score at follow-up. In cases of vertebral osteomyelitis with severe anterior column destruction the use of titanium cages in combination with posterior instrumentation is effective and safe and offers a good alternative to structural bone grafts. Further follow-up is necessary to confirm these early results.
PMCID: PMC3467979  PMID: 12961081
Vertebral osteomyelitis; Spinal infection; Spondylodiscitis; Cages; Spinal fusion
20.  Posterior instrumented fusion without neural decompression for incomplete neurological deficits following vertebral collapse in the osteoporotic thoracolumbar spine 
European Spine Journal  2008;18(1):69-76.
Previous reports have emphasized the importance of neural decompression through either an anterior or posterior approach when reconstruction surgery is performed for neurological deficits following vertebral collapse in the osteoporotic thoracolumbar spine. However, the contribution of these decompression procedures to neurological recovery has not been fully established. In the present study, we investigated 14 consecutive patients who had incomplete neurological deficits following vertebral collapse in the osteoporotic thoracolumbar spine and underwent posterior instrumented fusion without neural decompression. They were radiographically and neurologically assessed during an average follow-up period of 25 months. The mean local kyphosis angle was 14.6° at flexion and 4.1° at extension preoperatively, indicating marked instability at the collapsed vertebrae. The mean spinal canal occupation by bone fragments was 21%. After surgery, solid bony fusion was obtained in all patients. The mean local kyphosis angle became 5.8° immediately after surgery and 9.9° at the final follow-up. There was no implant dislodgement, and no additional surgery was required. In all patients, back pain was relieved, and neurological improvement was obtained by at least one modified Frankel grade. The present series demonstrate that the posterior instrumented fusion without neural decompression for incomplete neurological deficits following vertebral collapse in the osteoporotic thoracolumbar spine can provide neurological improvement and relief of back pain without major complications. We suggest that neural decompression is not essential for the treatment of neurological impairment due to osteoporotic vertebral collapse with dynamic mobility.
PMCID: PMC2615122  PMID: 19005689
Neurological deficit; Osteoporosis; Vertebral collapse; Thoracolumbar spine; Posterior fusion
21.  Surgical management of contiguous multilevel thoracolumbar tuberculous spondylitis 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(Suppl 4):618-623.
Tuberculous spondylitis (TBS) is the most common form of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. The mainstay of TBS management is anti-tuberculous chemotherapy. Most of the patients with TBS are treated conservatively; however in some patients surgery is indicated. Most common indications for surgery include neurological deficit, deformity, instability, large abscesses and necrotic tissue mass or inadequate response to anti-tuberculous chemotherapy. The most common form of TBS involves a single motion segment of spine (two adjoining vertebrae and their intervening disc). Sometimes TBS involves more than two adjoining vertebrae, when it is called multilevel TBS. Indications for correct surgical management of multilevel TBS is not clear from literature.
Materials and methods
We have retrospectively reviewed 87 patients operated in 10 years for multilevel TBS involving the thoracolumbar spine at our spine unit. Two types of surgeries were performed on these patients. In 57 patients, modified Hong Kong operation was performed with radical debridement, strut grafting and anterior instrumentation. In 30 patients this operation was combined with pedicle screw fixation with or without correction of kyphosis by osteotomy. Patients were followed up for correction of kyphosis, improvement in neurological deficit, pain and function. Complications were noted. On long-term follow-up (average 64 months), there was 9.34 % improvement in kyphosis angle in the modified Hong Kong group and 47.58 % improvement in the group with pedicle screw fixation and osteotomy in addition to anterior surgery (p < 0.001). Seven patients had implant failures and revision surgeries in the modified Hong Kong group. Neurological improvement, pain relief and functional outcome were the same in both groups.
We conclude that pedicle screw fixation with or without a correcting osteotomy should be added in all patients with multilevel thoracolumbar tuberculous spondylitis undergoing radical debridement and anterior column reconstruction.
PMCID: PMC3691415  PMID: 22892706
Tuberculous spondylitis; Multilevel; Thoracolumbar; Surgical treatment; Pott’s disease; Caries spine
22.  The Extended Posterior Circumferential Decompression Technique in the Management of Tubercular Spondylitis with and without Paraplegia 
Asian Spine Journal  2014;8(6):711-719.
Study Design
Retrospective clinical series.
To study the clinical, functional and radiological results of patients with tuberculous spondylitis with and without paraplegia, treated surgically using the "Extended Posterior Circumferential Decompression (EPCD)" technique.
Overview of Literature
With the increasing possibility of addressing all three columns by a single approach, posterior and posterolateral approaches are gaining acceptance. A single exposure for cases with neurological deficit and kyphotic deformity requiring circumferential decompression, anterior column reconstruction and posterior instrumentation is helpful.
Forty-one patients with dorsal/dorsolumbar/lumbar tubercular spondylitis who were operated using the EPCD approach between 2006 to 2009 were included. Postoperatively, patients were started on nine-month anti-tuberculous treatment. They were serially followed up to thirty-six months and both clinical measures (including pain, neurological status and ambulatory status) and radiological measures (including kyphotic angle correction, loss of correction and healing status) were used for assessment.
Disease-healing with bony fusion (interbody fusion) was seen in 97.5% of cases. Average deformity (kyphosis) correction was 54.6% in dorsal spine and 207.3% in lumbar spine. Corresponding loss of correction was 3.6 degrees in dorsal spine and 1.9 degrees in the lumbar spine. Neurological recovery in Frankel B and C paraplegia was 85.7% and 62.5%, respectively.
The EPCD approach permits all the advantages of a single or dual session anterior and posterior surgery, with significant benefits in terms of decreased operative time, reduced hospital stay and better kyphotic angle correction.
PMCID: PMC4278975  PMID: 25558312
Extended posterior approach; Circumferential spinal canal decompression; Kyphosis correction; Interbody fusion; Neurological recovery
23.  Surgical correction of kyphotic deformity in spinal tuberculosis 
International Orthopaedics  2011;36(2):353-357.
Approximately 5% of patients with spinal tuberculosis will develop a severe kyphotic deformity resulting in increased potential for pain, spinal cord compression, cardiopulmonary dysfunction, costopelvic impingement and cosmetic concerns. This manuscript reviews the evaluation and surgical management of tuberculous kyphosis.
This is a review article.
Risk factors for the development of severe kyphosis include those who develop spinal tuberculosis as children, multiple vertebral body involvement and thoracic spine involvement. These complications can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment of spinal tubercular lesions at stages with little to no deformity. When tubercular lesions result in progression of kyphosis to more than 50 degrees, the deformity should be surgically corrected to avoid problems associated with sagittal imbalance. There are several operations described for the treatment of kyphosis secondary to tuberculous spondylitis. The type of the operation depends on the magnitude of correction required.
Anterior, posterior and combined techniques as well as osteotomies and vertebral column resection have been described to correct spinal alignment and restore sagittal balance.
PMCID: PMC3282871  PMID: 21674290
24.  Kyphectomy in myelomeningocele with a modified Dunn-McCarthy technique followed by an anterior inlayed strut graft 
European Spine Journal  2004;13(3):206-212.
Rigid congenital kyphosis in myelomeningocele is associated with an important morbidity with skin breakdown, recurrent infection, and decreased function. Kyphectomy is the classic treatment to restore spinal alignment; however, surgery is associated with an important morbidity and long-term correction is uncertain. The authors retrospectively reviewed 9 patients with a mean age of 8.8 years who underwent a two stage surgical procedure: first a posterior kyphectomy with a modified Dunn-McCarthy fixation consisting of lumbar pedicle screws and long S-shape rods buttressing the anterior sacrum. Then a second stage done several weeks later consisting of a thoraco-abdominal approach to the spine with an inlay strut graft classically from T10–S1. The mean follow-up was 34 months (range 1–5 years). The kyphosis was corrected from a mean of 110° of Cobb angle (range 70–130°) to 15° after surgery (45–0°). There was no instrumentation failure, no loss of correction and no pseudarthrosis. Complications consisted of one intra-operative cardiac arrest fortunately reversible, a wound necrosis, one deep venous thrombosis and one late aseptic bursitis on the posterior hardware. Congenital kyphosis in myelomeningocele can be treated successfully with an initial posterior approach correction and instrumentation followed by an anterior approach allowing for anterior inlay impacted structural graft. The authors believe that this technique improves biomechanical and biological fusion mass anteriorly and will prevent late instrumentation failure and loss of correction.
PMCID: PMC3468138  PMID: 14714245
Myelomeningocele; Kyphectomy; Posterior instrumentation; Anterior and posterior arthrodesis
25.  Postoperative bedrest improves the alignment of thoracolumbar burst fractures treated with the AO spinal fixator 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2009;52(3):215-220.
A loss of reduction due to inadequate support of the anterior column when using short-segment instrumentation to treat burst fracture and novel methods for support of the anterior column through a posterior approach to augment posterior instrumentation have been reported in the literature. We hypothesized that if anterior column support is an important adjunct to posterior short-segment instrumentation, then avoidance of axial load until sufficient anterior column healing occurs, allowing load-sharing with the implant, would improve spinal alignment at follow-up.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study in which consecutive patients who had instrumentation and fusion with the AO spinal fixator were immediately ambulated after surgery or had 4 weeks of bedrest. We measured kyphosis and wedge angles preoperatively, immediately postoperatively and at the time of final follow-up. We used radiologic measures to assess instrumentation and bone failure.
We found significant differences in the mean loss of wedge and kyphosis angle correction between patients immediately ambulated and those who had 4 weeks of bedrest (0.71º v. − 4.73º for wedge and 1.81º v. − 6.55º for kyphosis, respectively). There was significant correlation between instrumentation and bone failure in both the immediate ambulation and bedrest groups.
Bedrest improves the maintenance of intraoperative sagittal alignment correction, which is in agreement with the theory that inadequate support of the anterior spinal column is the mechanism for loss of reduction when using short-segment instrumentation to treat burst fractures. Therefore, addressing the anterior column directly through anterior surgery or by employing novel techniques in posterior surgery is recommended if one of the goals of treatment is to maintain the sagittal correction achieved at the time of surgery. Trying to achieve this goal by addressing posterior implant design or bone quality alone will not be successful because instrumentation and bone failure occur together.
PMCID: PMC2689743  PMID: 19503666

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