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.
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.
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.
Kyphotic deformity; late onset paraplegia; TB spine; kyphus correction; extrapleural anterolateral approach
Achondroplasia was first described in 1878 and is the most common form of human skeletal dysplasia. Spinal manifestations include thoracolumbar kyphosis, foramen magnum, and spinal stenosis. Progressive kyphosis can result in spinal cord compression and paraplegia due to the reduced size of spinal canal. The deficits are typically progressive, presenting as an insidious onset of paresthesia, followed by the inability to walk and then by urinary incontinence. Paraplegia can be the result of direct pressure on the cord by bone or the injury to the anterior spinal vessels by a protruding bone. Surgical treatment consists of posterior instrumentation, fusion with total wide laminectomy at stenosis levels, and anterior interbody support. Pedicle screws are preferred for spinal instrumentation because wires and hooks may induce spinal cord injury due to the narrow spinal canal. Pedicle lengths are significantly shorter, and 20–25 mm long screws are appropriate for lower thoracic and lumbar pedicles in adult achondroplastic There is no information about the appropriate length of screws for the upper thoracic pedicles. Tracheal injury due to inappropriate pedicle screw length is a rare complication. We report an extremely rare case of tracheal tear due to posterior instrumentation and its management in the early postoperative period.
A retrospective review was carried out on 23 patients with rigid fixed kyphosis who underwent surgical correction for their deformity.
To report the results of surgical correction of fixed kyphosis according to the surgical approaches or methods.
Overview of Literature
Surgical correction of fixed kyphosis is more dangerous than the correction of any other spinal deformity because of the high incidence of paraplegia.
There were 12 cases of acute angular kyphosis (6 congenital, 6 healed tuberculosis) and 11 cases of round kyphosis (10 ankylosing spondylitis, 1 Scheuermann's kyphosis). Patients were excluded if their kyphosis was due to active tuberculosis, fractures, or degenerative lumbar changes. Operative procedures consisted of anterior, posterior and combined approaches with or without total vertebrectomy. Anterior procedure only was performed in 2 cases, while posterior procedure only was performed in 8 cases. Combined procedures were used in 13 cases, including 4 total vertebrectomies.
The average kyphotic angle was 71.8° preoperatively, 31.0° postoperatively, and the average final angle was 39.2°. Thus, the correction rate was 57% and the correction loss rate was 12%. In acute angular kyphosis, correction rate of an anterior procedure only was 71%, correction rate of the combined procedures without total vertebrectomy was 49% and correction rate of the combined procedures with total vertebrectomy was 60%. In round kyphosis, correction rate of posterior procedure only was 65% and correction rate of combined procedures was 59%. The clinical results according to the Kirkaldy-Willis scale demonstrated 17 excellent outcomes, 5 good outcomes and one poor outcome.
Our data indicates that the combined approach and especially the total vertebrectomy showed the safety and the greatest correction rate if acute angular kyphosis was greater than 60 degrees.
Surgical correction; Fixed kyphosis; Total vertebrectomy
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.
Anterior approach; extracavitary approach; posterior approach; Pott's spine
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.
Tuberculosis; Kyphosis; Closing–opening wedge; Osteotomy
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.
Kyphosis; posterior fusion; tuberculosis; children
A retrospective study.
We evaluated the results of the use of anterior debridement and interbody fusion followed by posterior spinal instrumentation.
Overview of Literature
An early diagnosis of pyogenic spondylitis is difficult to obtain. The disease can be treated with various surgical methods (such as anterior debridement and bone graft, anterior instrumentation, and posterior instrumentation).
This study included 20 patients who received anterior debridement and interbody fusion with strut bone graft followed by posterior spinal fusion for pyogenic spondylitis between 1996 and 2005. We analyzed the culture studies, the correction of the kyphotic angle, blood chemistry, the bony union period, and the amount of symptom relief.
In terms of clinical symptoms relief, eight patients were grouped as "excellent", eleven patients as "good", and one patient as "fair". The vertebral body cultures were positive in 14 patients showing coagulase (-) streptococcus and S. aureus. The average times for normalization of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level were 3.3 and 1.9 months, respectively. Four months was required for bony union. For complications, meralgia paresthetica was found in two
Due to early ambulation and the correction of the kyphotic angle, anterior interbody fusion with strut bone graft and posterior instrumentation could be another favorable method for the treatment of pyogenic spondyulitis.
Pyogenic spondylitis; Anterior interbody fusion; Posterior instrumentation
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.
Achondroplasia; Thoracolumbar kyphosis; Spinal stenosis
This is a retrospective series.
We wanted to analyze the safety and effectiveness of using the newer generation metallic implants (pedicle screws and/or titanium mesh) for the treatment of tuberculous spondylitis.
Overview of the Literature
There have been various efforts to prevent the development of a kyphotic deformity after the treatment of tuberculous spondylitis, including instrumentation of the spine. Pedicle screws and titanium mesh cages have become more and more popular for treating various spinal problems.
Twenty two patients who had tuberculous spondylitis were treated with anterior radical debridement and their anterior column of spine was supported with a tricortical iliac bone graft (12 patients) or by mesh (10 patients). Supplementary posterior pedicle screw instrumentation was performed in 17 of 22 patients. The combination of surgeries were anterior strut bone grafting and posterior pedicle screws in 12 patients, anterior titanium mesh and posterior pedicle screws in 5 patients and anterior mesh only without pedicle screws in 5 patients. The patients were followed up with assessing the laboratory inflammatory parameters, the serial plain radiographs and the neurological recovery.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels were eventually normalized and there was no case of persistent infection or failure to control infection in spite of a mettalic implant in situ. The overall correction of kyphotic deformity was initially 8.9 degrees, and the loss of correction was 6.2 degrees. In spite of some loss of correction, this technique effectively prevented clinically significant kyphotic deformity. The preoperative Frankel grades were B for 1 patient, C for 4, D for 4 and E for 13. At the final follow-up, 7 of 9 patients recovered completely to Frankel grade E and only two patients showed a Frankel grade of D.
Stabilizing the spine with pedicle screws and/or titanium mesh in patients with tubercuous spondylitis effectively prevents the development of kyphotic deformity and this did not prevent controlling infection when this technique was combined with radical debridement and anti-tuberculous chemotherapy.
Tuberculous spondylitis; Pedicle screw; Titanium mesh
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.
Vertebral osteomyelitis; Spinal infection; Spondylodiscitis; Cages; Spinal fusion
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.
Neurological deficit; Osteoporosis; Vertebral collapse; Thoracolumbar spine; Posterior fusion
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.
Pott's disease Surgical treatment Anterior instrumentation
A 26-year-old paraplegic schizophrenic Japanese woman suffered from severe kyphosis and back pain derived from lumbar burst fractures caused by jumping. She had already undergone resection of the L1 and L2 spinous processes for sharp angular kyphosis, but she still had severe kyphosis and back pain at the L1 and L2. Radiographical examination revealed fused anterior columns at L1 and L2 with severe local kyphosis and a significantly decreased percutaneous distance in the back. The patient underwent anterior instrumented bony resection including an L2 vertebral osteotomy: bilateral L2-L3 facetectomy and partial posterior osteotomy of the L2 vertebrae via a posterior approach followed by an anterior corpectomy of the L2 vertebrae and insertion of a cylindrical cage. No posterior instrumentation was used owing to the presence of atrophied paraspinal soft tissues. Lumbar interbody fusion was performed with vertebral body screws extending from T12 to L4 and corresponding anterior distension and posterior compression. The procedure corrected the kyphosis by 15° and enhanced local stability. Postsurgical visual analogue scale improved from 9.0 to 2.0 and Oswestry Disability Index from 40 to 17.8, respectively. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that anterolateral interbody fusion using extended fixation can compensate for posterior corrective surgery.
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.
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.
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.
Extra pleural retroperitoneal approach; thoracolumbar spine; spinal trauma; tuberculosis of spine
The purpose of this study was to present our experience in treating dorso-lumbar tuberculosis by one-stage posterior circumferential fusion and to compare this group with a historical group treated by anterior debridement followed by postero-lateral fusion and stabilization.
Between 2003 and 2008, 32 patients with active spinal tuberculosis were treated by one-stage posterior circumferential fusion and prospectively followed for a minimum of two years. Pain severity was measured using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Neurological assessment was done using the Frankel scale. The operative data, clinical, radiological, and functional outcomes were also compared to a similar group of 25 patients treated with anterior debridement and fusion, followed 10–14 days later by posterior stabilization and postero-lateral fusion.
The mean operative time and duration of hospital stay were significantly longer in the two-stage group. The mean estimated blood loss was also larger, though insignificantly, in the two-stage group. The incidence of complications was significantly lower in the one-stage group. At final follow-up, all 34 patients with pre-operative neurological deficits showed at least one Frankel grade of neurological improvement, all 57 patients showed significant improvement of their VAS back pain score, the mean kyphotic angle has significantly improved, all patients achieved solid fusion and 43 (75.4%) patients returned to their pre-disease activity level or work.
Instrumented circumferential fusion, whether in one or two stages, is an effective treatment for dorso-lumbar tuberculosis. One-stage surgery, however, is advantageous because it has lower complication rate, shorter hospital stay, less operative time and blood loss.
Anterior bone grafts are used as struts to reconstruct the anterior column of the spine in kyphosis or following injury. An incomplete fusion can lead to later correction losses and compromise further healing. Despite the different stabilizing techniques that have evolved, from posterior or anterior fixating implants to combined anterior/posterior instrumentation, graft pseudarthrosis rates remain an important concern. Furthermore, the need for additional anterior implant fixation is still controversial. In this bench-top study, we focused on the graft-bone interface under various conditions, using two simulated spinal injury models and common surgical fixation techniques to investigate the effect of implant-mediated compression and contact on the anterior graft.
Calf spines were stabilised with posterior internal fixators. The wooden blocks as substitutes for strut grafts were impacted using a “pressfit” technique and pressure-sensitive films placed at the interface between the vertebral bone and the graft to record the compression force and the contact area with various stabilization techniques. Compression was achieved either with posterior internal fixator alone or with an additional anterior implant. The importance of concomitant ligament damage was also considered using two simulated injury models: pure compression Magerl/AO fracture type A or rotation/translation fracture type C models.
In type A injury models, 1 mm-oversized grafts for impaction grafting provided good compression and fair contact areas that were both markedly increased by the use of additional compressing anterior rods or by shortening the posterior fixator construct. Anterior instrumentation by itself had similar effects. For type C injuries, dramatic differences were observed between the techniques, as there was a net decrease in compression and an inadequate contact on the graft occurred in this model. Under these circumstances, both compression and the contact area on graft could only be maintained at high levels with the use of additional anterior rods.
Under experimental conditions, we observed that ligamentous injury following type C fracture has a negative influence on the compression and contact area of anterior interbody bone grafts when only an internal fixator is used for stabilization. Because of the loss of tension banding effects in type C injuries, an additional anterior compressing implant can be beneficial to restore both compression to and contact on the strut graft.
Graft compression; Anterior fixation; Posterior fixation; Spine biomechanics
Between 2000 and 2004, 40 cases (average age 38, range 16–65 years) of spinal tuberculosis were treated with anterior debridement and iliac bone graft with one-stage anterior or posterior instrumentation in our unit. All patients received at least 2 weeks of regular antituberculous chemotherapy before surgery. We followed up all patients for 12–48 months (mean 22 months). Local symptoms of all patients were relieved significantly 1–3 weeks postoperatively; 23 of 25 cases (92%) with neurogical deficit had excellent or good clinical results. Erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR) returned from 51 mm/h to 32 mm/h (average) two weeks postoperatively. Kyphosis degrees were corrected by a mean of 16°. Fusion rate of the grafting bone was 72.5% one year postoperatively and 90% two years postoperatively. Severe complications did not occur. We therefore believe that patients undergoing anterior debridement and iliac bone grafting with one-stage anterior or posterior instrumentation achieve satisfactory clinical and radiographic outcomes.
A retrospective clinical study.
To evaluate the clinical efficacy of the surgical treatment of noncontiguous spinal tuberculosis (NSTB), and to discuss its therapeutic strategies.
We performed a retrospective review of clinical and radiographic data that were prospectively collected on 550 consecutive spinal tubercular patients including 27 patients who were diagnosed and treated as NSTB in our institution from June 2005 to June 2011. Apart from 4 patients being treated conservatively, the remainder received surgery by posterior transforaminal debridement, interbody fusion with instrumentation, posterior instrumentation and anterior debridement with fusion in a single or two-stage operation. The clinical outcomes were evaluated before and after treatment in terms of hematologic and radiographic examinations, bone fusion and neurologic status. The Oswestry Disability Index score was determined before treatment and at the last follow-up visit.
23 patients (15 M/8F), averaged 44.6±14.2 years old (range, 19 to 70 yd), who received surgical treatment, were followed up after surgery for a mean of 52.5±19.5 months (range, 24 to 72 months). The kyphotic angle was changed significantly between pre- and postoperation (P<0.05). The mean amount of correction was 12.6±7.2 degrees, with a small loss of correction at last follow-up. All patients achieved solid bone fusion. No patients with neurological deficit deteriorated postoperatively. Neither mortalities nor any major complications were found. There was a significant difference of Oswestry Disability Index scores between preoperation and the final follow-up.
The outcomes of follow-up showed that posterior and posterior-anterior surgical treatment methods were both viable surgical options for NSTB. Posterior transforaminal debridement, interbody fusion and posterior instrumentation, as a less invasive technique, was feasible and effective to treat specific tubercular foci.
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion is a well-established procedure for the treatment of cervical spinal canal stenosis. In this study, we evaluated the necessity of spinal instrumentation after four-level anterior cervical decompression and cage fusion.
From January 2006 until August 2008, 25 patients (8 females and 17 males) (mean age 63.9 ± 7.9 years) suffering from spinal stenosis C3–C7 underwent anterior decompression and interbody fusion. The patients were divided into two groups. Four-level discectomy and cage fusion was performed in all patients. In group A including nine patients, posterior instrumentation with a lateral mass screw-rod system was added, while in group B including 16 patients, additional instrumentation was not performed. The mean duration of follow-up was 48.6 months (average 25–67 months).
Clinically, the mean value for the Neck Disability Index improved from 40 ± 23.25 at presentation to 16.31 ± 15.09 at the final follow-up. The difference between the two groups was statistically not significant. Radiologically, the criteria for solid bony fusion were achieved successfully in all patients of group A, and in 87.5 % of patients in group B. The difference between the two groups was statistically not significant. The fused segment was then evaluated in the sagittal radiographs as regards the height and the lordosis angle. The loss in the height as well as the loss in the lordosis angle was more when posterior instrumentation was not added. However, the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant.
Stand-alone intersomatic cage fusion is an acceptable line of treatment for four-level cervical disc disease, both clinically and radiologically. Although the addition of posterior instrumentation yields better radiological results, the difference does not reach the statistical significance level.
Cervical; Four-level; Cage; Fusion; Instrumentation
To report morphological patterns of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) presenting for surgery. To describe surgical options based on fracture pattern. To evaluate clinical and radiological outcome.
Forty consecutively operated OVCFs nonunion patients were retrospectively studied. We define four patterns of OVCFs that needed surgical intervention. Group1 mini open vertebroplasty (N = 10) no neurologic deficits and kyphotic deformity, but with intravertebral instability and significant radiological spinal canal compromise. Group2 with neurologic deficits (N = 24) (2A)—transpedicular decompression (TPD) with instrumentation (N = 14). Fracture morphology similar to (1) and localized kyphosis <30° (2B)—pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) with instrumentation (N = 10). Fracture morphology similar to (1) and local kyphosis >30°. Group3 posterolateral decompression with interbody reconstruction (N = 06) endplate(s) destroyed, with instability at discovertebral junction, with neurologic deficit. Average follow-up was 34 months. VAS, ODI and Cobb angle were recorded at 3, 6, 12 months and yearly.
There was significant improvement in the clinical (VAS and ODI) scores and radiologic outcome in each group at last follow-up. 30 patients out of 40, had neurologic deficits (Frankel’s grade C = 16, Frankel’s grade D = 14). The motor power gradually improved to Frankel’s grade E. Average duration of surgery was 97 min. Average blood loss was 610 ml.
Different surgical techniques were used to suit different fracture patterns, with good clinical and radiological results. This could be a step forward in devising an algorithm to surgical treatment of OVCF nonunions.
Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture; Nonunion; Surgery; Neurologic deficit
The purpose of this study was to compare posterior and anterior surgical approach in combination with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation for thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis. These approaches were compared in terms of the operation duration, intraoperative blood loss, bony fusion, intraoperative and postoperative complications, neurological status and the angle of kyphosis.
Forty-seven patients with thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis who underwent either the posterior or the anterior approach in combination with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation from January 2004 to March 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. In group A (n = 25), the posterior approach was combined with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation. In group B (n = 22), the anterior approach was performed in addition to debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation.
All cases were followed up for 12–62 months. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of the operation duration, intraoperative blood loss, bony fusion, intraoperative and postoperative complications, neurological status and the angle of kyphosis (p > 0.05). Good clinical outcomes were achieved in both groups.
The posterior approach combined with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation is an alternative procedure to treat thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis. The posterior approach is sufficient for lesion debridement. In addition, the posterior approach can maintain spinal stabilisation and prevent loss of corrected vertebral alignment as effectively as the anterior approach.