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1.  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
2.  Short segment fixation of thoracolumbar burst fractures without fusion 
European Spine Journal  1999;8(6):495-500.
There continues to be controversy surrounding the management of thoracolumbar burst fractures. Numerous methods of fixation have been described for this injury, but to our knowledge, spinal fusion has always been part of the stabilising procedure, whether this involves an anterior or a posterior approach. Apart from an earlier publication from this centre, there have been no reports on the use of internal fixation without fusion for this type of fracture. The aim of the study was to determine the outcome of patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures who were treated with short segment pedicle screw fixation without fusion. This is a retrospective review of 28 consecutive patients who had short segment pedicle screw fixation of thoracolumbar burst fractures without fusion performed between 1990 and 1993. All patients underwent a clinical and radiological assessment by an independent observer. Outcome was measured using the Low Back Outcome Score. The minimum follow-up period was 2 years (mean 3.1 years). Fifty percent of patients achieved an excellent result with the Low Back Outcome Score, while 12% were assessed as good, 20% fair and 16% obtained a poor result. The only significant factor affecting outcome was the influence of a compensation claim (P < 0.05). The implant failure rate (14% of patients) and the clinical outcome was similar to that from series where fusion had been performed in addition to pedicle screw fixation. The results of this study support the view that posterolateral bone grafting is not necessary when managing patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures by short segment pedicle screw fixation.
PMCID: PMC3611215  PMID: 10664310
Key words Burst fractures; Outcome; Short segment fixation; Fusion
3.  Short Segment Fixation for Thoracolumbar Burst Fracture Accompanying Osteopenia : A Comparative Study 
The purpose of this study was to compare the results of three types of short segment screw fixation for thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia.
The records of 70 patients who underwent short segment screw fixation for a thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia (-2.5< mean T score by bone mineral densitometry <-1.0) from January 2005 to January 2008 were reviewed. Patients were divided into three groups based on whether or not bone fusion and bone cement augmentation procedure 1) Group I (n=26) : short segment fixation with posterolateral bone fusion; 2) Group II (n=23) : bone cement augmented short segment fixation with posterolateral bone fusion; 3) Group III (n=21) : bone cement augmented, short segment percutaneous screw fixation without bone fusion. Clinical outcomes were assessed using a visual analogue scale and modified MacNab's criteria. Radiological findings, including kyphotic angle and vertebral height, and procedure-related complications, such as screw loosening or pull-out, were analyzed.
No significant difference in radiographic or clinical outcomes was noted between patients managed using the three different techniques at last follow up. However, Group I showed more correction loss of kyphotic deformities and vertebral height loss at final follow-up, and Group I had higher screw loosening and implant failure rates than Group II or III.
Bone cement augmented procedure can be an efficient and safe surgical techniques in terms of achieving better outcomes with minimal complications for thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia.
PMCID: PMC3579078  PMID: 23440679
Burst fracture; Osteopenia; Fusion
4.  Outcome of Pedicle Screw Fixation and Monosegmental Fusion in Patients with Fresh Thoracolumbar Fractures 
Asian Spine Journal  2014;8(3):298-308.
Study Design
Prospective clinical study.
The present prospective study aims to evaluate the clinical, radiological, and functional and quality of life outcomes in patients with fresh thoracolumbar fractures managed by posterior instrumentation of the spine, using pedicle screw fixation and monosegmental fusion.
Overview of Literature
The goals of treatment in thoracolumbar fractures are restoring vertebral column stability and obtaining spinal canal decompression, leading to early mobilization of the patient.
Sixty-six patients (46 males and 20 females) of thoracolumbar fractures with neurological deficit were stabilized with pedicle screw fixation and monosegmental fusion. Clinical, radiological and functional outcomes were evaluated.
The mean preoperative values of Sagittal index, and compression percentage of the height of the fractured vertebra were 22.75° and 46.73, respectively, improved (statistically significant) to 12.39°, and 24.91, postoperatively. The loss of correction of these values at one year follow-up was not statistically significant. The mean preoperative canal compromise (%) improved from 65.22±17.61 to 10.06±5.31 at one year follow-up. There was a mean improvement in the grade of 1.03 in neurological status from the preoperative to final follow-up at one year. Average Denis work scale index was 4.1. Average Denis pain scale index was 2.5. Average WHOQOL-BREF showed reduced quality of life in these patients. Patients of early surgery group (operated within 7 days of injury) had a greater mean improvement of neurological grade, radiological and functional outcomes than those in the late surgery group, but it was not statistically significant.
Posterior surgical instrumentation using pedicle screws with posterolateral fusion is safe, reliable and effective method in the management of fresh thoracolumbar fractures. Fusion helps to decrease the postoperative correction loss of radiological parameters. There is no correlation between radiographic corrections achieved for deformities and functional outcome and quality of life post spinal cord injury.
PMCID: PMC4068849  PMID: 24967043
Thoracolumbar; Fractures; Pedicle screws; Neurological involvement; Functional outcome; Radiological outcome
5.  Fusion versus Nonfusion for Surgically Treated Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63995.
Posterior pedicle screw fixation has become a popular method for treating thoracolumbar burst fractures. However, it remains unclear whether additional fusion could improve clinical and radiological outcomes. This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of fusion as a supplement to pedicle screw fixation for thoracolumbar burst fractures.
Methodology/Principal Findings
MEDLINE, OVID, Springer, and Google Scholar were searched for relevant randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials that compared the clinical and radiological efficacy of fusion versus nonfusion for thoracolumbar burst fractures managed by posterior pedicle screw fixation. Risk of bias in included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We generated pooled risk ratios or weighted mean differences across studies. Based on predefined inclusion criteria, 4 eligible trials with a total of 220 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The mean age of the patients was 35.1 years. 96.8% of the fractures were located at T12 to L1 level. Baseline characteristics were similar between the fusion and nonfusion groups. No significant difference was identified between the two groups regarding radiological outcome, functional outcome, neurologic improvement, and implant failure rate. The pooled data showed that the nonfusion group was associated with significantly reduced operative time (p<0.0001) and blood loss (p  = 0.0003).
The results of this meta-analysis suggested that fusion was not necessary when thoracolumbar burst fracture was treated by posterior pedicle screw fixation. More randomized controlled trials with high quality are still needed in the future.
PMCID: PMC3660321  PMID: 23704968
6.  Internal fixation with percutaneous kyphoplasty compared with simple percutaneous kyphoplasty for thoracolumbar burst fractures in elderly patients: a prospective randomized controlled trial 
European Spine Journal  2013;22(10):2256-2263.
The impact of percutaneous internal fixation as a supplement to percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP) for the management of thoracolumbar burst fractures in elderly patients is unclear. We conducted a clinical controlled trial to investigate the effect and outcomes of this technique in such patients.
Forty-three patients over 65 years old with thoracolumbar burst fractures without nerve injuries were enrolled. They were randomly assigned to treatment with simple PKP (control group, n = 22) or percutaneous short-segment pedicle screw internal fixation with PKP (treatment group, n = 21). The patients were followed for at least 2 years postoperatively and were assessed with regard to clinical and radiological outcomes. Clinical outcomes were evaluated mainly with use of visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire. Radiological outcomes were assessed mainly on the basis of Cobb kyphosis angle and loss of kyphosis correction.
There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to preoperative indices. The treatment group had better VAS scores and greater postoperative improvement on the ODI compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Postoperative kyphosis angle correction in the treatment group was superior to that in the control group, and loss of correction postoperatively was significantly less (P < 0.05). In the control group, two patients suffered refractures of the injured vertebra postoperatively and one had a fracture in the adjacent vertebra. No postoperative complications needing management were noted in either group.
Compared with simple PKP, percutaneous internal fixation with PKP is a valuable surgical option for the treatment of selected elderly patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures.
PMCID: PMC3804720  PMID: 23996046
Elderly patient; Thoracolumbar burst fracture; Percutaneous internal fixation; Simple PKP; Randomized controlled trial
7.  Posterior short segment pedicle screw fixation and TLIF for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar/lumbar fracture 
Currently, Posterior Short Segment Pedicle Screw Fixation is a popular procedure for treating unstable thoracolumbar/lumbar burst fracture. But progressive kyphosis and a high rate of hardware failure because of lack of the anterior column support remains a concern. The efficacy of different methods remains debatable and each technique has its advantages and disadvantages.
A consecutive series of 20 patients with isolated thoracolumbar/lumbar burst fractures were treated by posterior short segment pedicle screw fixation and transforaminal thoracolumbar/lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) between January 2005 and December 2007. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 2 years. Demographic data, neurologic status, anterior vertebral body heights, segmental Cobb angle and treatment-related complications were evaluated.
The mean operative time was 167 minutes (range, 150–220). Blood loss was 450 ~ 1200 ml, an average of 820 ml. All patients recovered with solid fusion of the intervertebral bone graft, without main complications like misplacement of the pedicle screw, nerve or vessel lesion or hard ware failure. The post-operative radiographs demonstrated a good fracture reduction and it was well maintained until the bone graft fusion. Neurological recovery of one to three Frankel grade was seen in 14 patients with partial neurological deficit, three grades of improvement was seen in one patient, two grades of improvement was observed in 6 patients and one grade of improvement was found in 6 patients. All the 6 patients with no paraplegia on admission remained neurological intact, and in one patient with Frankel D on admission no improvement was observed.
Posterior short-segment pedicle fixation in conjunction with TLIF seems to be a feasible option in the management of selected thoracolumbar/lumbar burst fractures, thereby addressing all the three columns through a single approach with less trauma and good results.
PMCID: PMC3930337  PMID: 24517217
Short segment fixation; Thoracic vertebrae; Lumbar vertebrae; Unstable burst fractures; Pedicle screw; TLIF
8.  Transpedicular hydroxyapatite grafting with indirect reduction for thoracolumbar burst fractures with neurological deficit: A prospective study 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2007;41(4):368-373.
The major problem after posterior correction and instrumentation in the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures is failure to support the anterior spinal column leading to loss of correction of kyphosis and hardware breakage. We conducted a prospective consecutive series to evaluate the outcome of the management of acute thoracolumbar burst fractures by transpedicular hydroxyapatite (HA) grafting following indirect reduction and pedicle screw fixation.
Materials and Methods:
Eighteen consecutive patients who had thoracolumbar burst fractures and associated incomplete neurological deficit were operatively treated within four days of admission. Following indirect reduction and pedicle screw fixation, transpedicular intracorporeal HA grafting to the fractured vertebrae was performed. Mean operative time was 125 min and mean blood loss was 150 ml. Their implants were removed within one year and were prospectively followed for at least two years.
The neurological function of all 18 patients improved by at least one ASIA grade, with nine (50%) patients demonstrating complete neurological recovery. Sagittal alignment was improved from a mean preoperative kyphosis of 17°to −2°(lordosis) by operation, but was found to have slightly deteriorated to 1° at final followup observation. The CT images demonstrated a mean spinal canal narrowing preoperatively, immediate postoperative and at final followup of 60%, 22% and 11%, respectively. There were no instances of hardware failure. No patient reported severe pain or needed daily dosages of analgesics at the final followup. The two-year postoperative MRI demonstrated an increase of one grade in disc degeneration (n = 17) at the disc above and in 11 patients below the fractured vertebra. At the final followup, flexion-extension radiographs revealed that a median range of motion was 4, 6 and 34 degrees at the cranial segment of the fractured vertebra, caudal segment and L1-S1, respectively. Bone formation by osteoconduction in HA granules was unclear, but final radiographs showed healed fractures.
Posterior indirect reduction, transpedicular HA grafting and pedicle screw fixation could prevent the development of kyphosis and should lead to reliable neurological improvement in patients with incomplete neurological deficit. This technique does not require fusion to a segment, thereby preserves thoracolumbar motion.
PMCID: PMC2989521  PMID: 21139793
Pedicle screw fixation; thoracolumbar burst fracture; transpedicular hydroxyapatite grafting
9.  Segmental pedicle screw instrumentation in idiopathic thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis 
European Spine Journal  2000;9(3):191-197.
The role of posterior correction and fusion in thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis as well as pedicle screw instrumentation in scoliosis surgery are matters of debate. Our hypothesis was that in lumbar and thoracolumbar scoliosis, segmental pedicle screw instrumentation is safe and enables a good frontal and sagittal plane correction with a fusion length comparable to anterior instrumentation. In a prospective clinical trial, 12 consecutive patients with idiopathic thoracolumbar or lumbar scolioses of between 40° and 60° Cobb angle underwent segmental pedicle screw instrumentation. Minimum follow-up was 4 years (range 48– 60 months). Fusion length was defined according to the rules for Zielke instrumentation, normally ranging between the end vertebrae of the major curve. Radiometric analysis included coronal and sagittal plane correction. Additionally, the accuracy of pedicle screw placement was measured by use of postoperative computed tomographic scans. Major curve correction averaged 64.6%, with a loss of correction of 3°. The tilt angle was corrected by 67.0%, the compensatory thoracic curve corrected spontaneously according to the flexibility on the preoperative bending films, and led to a satisfactory frontal balance in all cases. Average fusion length was the same as that of the major curve. Pathological thoracolumbar kyphosis was completely corrected in all but one case. One patient required surgical revision with extension of the fusion to the midthoracic spine due to a painful junctional kyphosis. Eighty-five of 104 screws were graded “within the pedicle”, 10 screws had penetrated laterally, 5 screws bilaterally and 4 screws medially. No neurological complications were noted. In conclusion, despite the limited number of patients, this study shows that segmental pedicle screw instrumentation is a safe and effective procedure in the surgical correction of both frontal and sagittal plane deformity in thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis of less than 60°, with a short fusion length, comparable to anterior fusion techniques, and minimal loss of correction.
PMCID: PMC3611403  PMID: 10905435
Key words Idiopathic scoliosis; Surgery; Pedicle screw; Posterior instrumentation
10.  Efficacy analysis of pedicle screw internal fixation of fractured vertebrae in the treatment of thoracolumbar fractures 
The present study aimed to discuss the method and effect of posterior internal fixation of thoracolumbar fractures strengthened by the vertical stress pedicle screw fixation of fractured vertebrae. Patients with single thoracolumbar fractures were examined retrospectively. Fourteen patients (group A) had been treated with vertical stress pedicle screw fixation of a fractured vertebra and sixteen patients (group B) received traditional double-plate fixation, as a control. All patients were diagnosed with fresh fractures with a complete unilateral or bilateral pedicle and no explosion of the inferior half of the vertebral body or inferior endplate. In group A, patients received conventional posterior distraction and lumbar lordosis restoration, as well as pedicle screws in the fractured vertebra in a vertical direction to relieve stress to achieve a local stress balance. All patients were followed up postoperatively for 4–18 months (average, 12.6 months). The vertical stress pedicle screw fixation assisted in the reduction of vertebrae fracture, which reduced the postoperative Cobb’s angle loss. There was a significant difference in the change of Cobb’s angle between the two groups one year after surgery (P<0.01). Conditional application of pedicle screws in a single thoracolumbar fracture enhances the stability of the internal fixation system and is conducive to the correction of kyphosis and maintenance of the corrective effects.
PMCID: PMC3570186  PMID: 23407593
vertical stress; pedicle screw; fractured vertebra
11.  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
12.  Treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures without neurologic deficit by indirect reduction and posterior instrumentation: bisegmental stabilization with monosegmental fusion 
European Spine Journal  1999;8(4):284-289.
This study retrospectively reviews 20 sequential patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures without neurologic deficit. All patients were treated by indirect reduction, bisegmental posterior transpedicular instrumentation and monosegmental fusion. Clinical and radiological outcome was analyzed after an average follow-up of 6.4 years. Re-kyphosis of the entire segment including the cephaled disc was significant with loss of the entire postoperative correction over time. This did not influence the generally benign clinical outcome. Compared to its normal height the fused cephalad disc was reduced by 70% and the temporarily spanned caudal disc by 40%. Motion at the temporarily spanned segment could be detected in 11 patients at follow-up, with no relation to the clinical result. Posterior instrumentation of thoracolumbar burst fractures can initially reduce the segmental kyphosis completely. The loss of correction within the fractured vertebral body is small. However, disc space collapse leads to eventual complete loss of segmental reduction. Therefore, posterolateral fusion alone does not prevent disc space collapse. Nevertheless, clinical long-term results are favorable. However, if disc space collapse has to prevented, an interbody disc clearance and fusion is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3611180  PMID: 10483830
Key words Lumbar spine; Burst fracture; Transpedicular; instrumentation; Monosegmental; fusion
13.  Predictive Factors for a Kyphosis Recurrence Following Short-Segment Pedicle Screw Fixation Including Fractured Vertebral Body in Unstable Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures 
The technique of short segment pedicle screw fixation (SSPSF) has been widely used for stabilization in thoracolumbar burst fractures (TLBFs), but some studies reported high rate of kyphosis recurrence or hardware failure. This study was to evaluate the results of SSPSF including fractured level and to find the risk factors concerned with the kyphosis recurrence in TLBFs.
This study included 42 patients, including 25 males and 17 females, who underwent SSPSF for stabilization of TLBFs between January 2003 and December 2010. For radiologic assessments, Cobb angle (CA), vertebral wedge angle (VWA), vertebral body compression ratio (VBCR), and difference between VWA and Cobb angle (DbVC) were measured. The relationships between kyphosis recurrence and radiologic parameters or demographic features were investigated. Frankel classification and low back outcome score (LBOS) were used for assessment of clinical outcomes.
The mean follow-up period was 38.6 months. CA, VWA, and VBCR were improved after SSPSF, and these parameters were well maintained at the final follow-up with minimal degree of correction loss. Kyphosis recurrence showed a significant increase in patients with Denis burst type A, load-sharing classification (LSC) score >6 or DbVC >6 (p<0.05). There were no patients who worsened to clinical outcome, and there was no significant correlation between kyphosis recurrence and clinical outcome in this series.
SSPSF including the fractured vertebra is an effective surgical method for restoration and maintenance of vertebral column stability in TLBFs. However, kyphosis recurrence was significantly associated with Denis burst type A fracture, LSC score >6, or DbVC >6.
PMCID: PMC4217060  PMID: 25368766
Kyphosis; Short-segment pedicel screw fixation; Thoracolumbar burst fractures; Instability
14.  Short Same-Segment Fixation of Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures 
Minimizing the number of vertebral levels involved in fusion of a spine fracture is a common goal of internal fixation. This is achievable by utilizing traditional short-segment posterior fixation (SSPF). However, in SSPF there is reported up to a 54% incidence of instrument failure or unfavorable clinical outcome. Short-segment posterior fixation with pedicle fixation at the level of the fracture (short same-segment fixation) suggests biomechanical advantages toward maintenance of kyphosis correction and reducing failure rates. However its clinical efficacy is largely unknown.
The team conducted a retrospective review of 25 thoracolumbar burst fracture patients who were treated with short same-segment fixation between September 2005 and April 2009. The primary outcome measure was incidence of reoperation and loss of kyphosis correction within the follow-up period. Long-term functional status and pain was also assessed.
Average duration of the most recent follow-up was 21.64 months (range 3 to 42 months). Two patients (8%) required reoperation due to either hardware failure or pseudoarthrosis. Mean pre-operative kyphosis was 14.49°. Average post-operative kyphosis was −0.74° (lordosis). Average follow-up kyphosis of all cases was 10.78°. Excluding failures, average follow-up kyphosis was 8.67°. A mean of 15.23° of kyphosis correction was attained from pre-operation to post-operation (P < 0.0001). Average loss of kyphosis correction from immediate post-operation to most recent follow-up was −11.51° and −9.51 excluding the two failures (P < 0.0001). Average pre-operative to most-recent follow-up kyphosis correction was 3.72° (P = 0.067) and 5.51° excluding failures (P = 0.0024). At initial one-month follow-up, average disability score was 52.63% (range 16% to 84%). At most recent follow-up, average disability score was 5.5% (range 0% to 16%). One patient was lost to long-term follow-up. Mean difference from one-month follow-up to most recent follow-up (excluding failures) was 47.27% (P < 0.0001).
Short same-segment fixation decreases implantation failure rate and reoperation rate compared to traditional SSPF, however long-term kyphosis correction was not maintained. Despite this loss of kyphosis correction, clinical pain and disability improved at long-term follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3298433  PMID: 22413100
short-segment posterior fixation; thoracolumbar burst fracture; kyphosis correction
15.  The Significance of Removing Ruptured Intervertebral Discs for Interbody Fusion in Treating Thoracic or Lumbar Type B and C Spinal Injuries through a One-Stage Posterior Approach 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97275.
To identify the negative effect on treatment results of reserving damaged intervertebral discs when treating type B and type C spinal fracture-dislocations through a one-stage posterior approach.
This is a retrospective review of 53 consecutive patients who were treated in our spine surgery center from January 2005 to May 2012 due to severe thoracolumbar spinal fracture-dislocation. The patients in Group A (24 patients) underwent long-segment instrumentation laminectomy with pedicle screw-rod fixators for neural decompression. In Group B (29 patients), the patients underwent long-segment instrumentation laminectomy with pedicle screw-rod fixators for neural decompression evacuating of the ruptured disc and inserting of a bone graft into the evacuated disc space for interbody fusion. The mean time between injury and operation was 4.1 days (range 2–15 days). The clinical, radiologic and complication outcomes were analyzed retrospectively.
Periodic follow-ups were carried out until an affirmative union or treatment failure took place. A progressive kyphosis angle larger than 10°, loss of disc height, pseudoarthrosis, recurrence of dislocation or subluxation, or instrument failure before fusion were considered treatment failures. Treatment failures were detected in 13 cases in Group A (failure rate was 54.2%). In Group B, there were 28 cases in which definitive bone fusion was demonstrated on CT scans, and CT scans of the other cases demonstrated undefined pseudoarthrosis without hardware failure. There were statistically significant differences between the two groups (p<0.001 chi-square test). The neurologic recoveries, assessed by the ASIA scoring system, were not satisfactory for the neural deficit patients in either group, indicating there was no significant difference with regard to neurologic recovery between the two groups (p>0.05 Fisher's exact test).
Intervertebral disc damage is a common characteristic in type B and C spinal fracture-dislocation injuries. The damaged intervertebral disc should be removed and substituted with a bone graft because reserving the damaged disc in situ increases the risk of treatment failure.
PMCID: PMC4020822  PMID: 24827733
16.  Treatment of unstable thoracolumbar junction burst fractures with short- or long-segment posterior fixation in magerl type a fractures 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(8):1145-1155.
The treatment of thoracolumbar fractures remains controversial. A review of the literature showed that short-segment posterior fixation (SSPF) alone led to a high incidence of implant failure and correction loss. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the outcomes of the SS- and long-segment posterior fixation (LSPF) in unstable thoracolumbar junction burst fractures (T12–L2) in Magerl Type A fractures. The patients were divided into two groups according to the number of instrumented levels. Group I included 32 patients treated by SSPF (four screws: one level above and below the fracture), and Group II included 31 patients treated by LSPF (eight screws: two levels above and below the fracture). Clinical outcomes and radiological parameters (sagittal index, SI; and canal compromise, CC) were compared according to demographic features, localizations, load-sharing classification (LSC) and Magerl subgroups, statistically. The fractures with more than 10° correction loss at sagittal plane were analyzed in each group. The groups were similar with regard to age, gender, LSC, SI, and CC preoperatively. The mean follow-ups were similar for both groups, 36 and 33 months, respectively. In Group II, the correction values of SI, and CC were more significant than in Group I. More than 10° correction loss occurred in six of the 32 fractures in Group I and in two of the 31 patients in Group II. SSPF was found inadequate in patients with high load sharing scores. Although radiological outcomes (SI and CC remodeling) were better in Group II for all fracture types and localizations, the clinical outcomes (according to Denis functional scores) were similar except Magerl type A33 fractures. We recommend that, especially in patients, who need more mobility, with LSC point 7 or less with Magerl Type A31 and A32 fractures (LSC point 6 or less in Magerl Type A3.3) without neurological deficit, SSPF achieves adequate fixation, without implant failure and correction loss. In Magerl Type A33 fractures with LSC point 7 or more (LSC points 8–9 in Magerl Type A31 and A32) without severe neurologic deficit, LSPF is more beneficial.
PMCID: PMC2200786  PMID: 17252216
Thoracolumbar fracture; Classification; Spinal instrumentation; Short/long
17.  Two levels above and one level below pedicle screw fixation for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar fracture with partial or intact neurology 
Treatment of unstable thoracolumbar fractures is controversial regarding short or long segment pedicle screw fixation. Although long level fixation is better, it can decrease one motion segment distally, thus increasing load to lower discs.
We retrospectively analyzed 31 unstable thoracolumbar fractures with partial or intact neurology. All patients were operated with posterior approach using pedicle screws fixed two levels above and one level below the fracture vertebra. No laminectomy, discectomy or decompression procedure was done. Posterior fusion was achieved in all. Post operative and at final follow-up radiological evaluation was done by measuring the correction and maintenance of kyphotic angle at thoracolumbar junction. Complications were also reported including implant failure.
Average follow-up was 34 months. All patients had full recovery at final follow-up. Average kyphosis was improved from 26.7° to 4.1° postoperatively and to 6.3° at final follow-up. And mean pain scale was improved from 7.5 to 3.9 postoperatively and to 1.6 at final follow-up, All patients resumed their activity within six months. Only 4 (12%) complications were noted including only one hardware failure.
Two levels above and one level below pedicle screw fixation in unstable thoracolumbar burst fracture is useful to prevent progressive kyphosis and preserves one motion segment distally.
PMCID: PMC2724433  PMID: 19635134
18.  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
19.  The effect of postoperative immobilization on short-segment fixation without bone grafting for unstable fractures of thoracolumbar spine 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2009;43(2):197-204.
Controversy regarding the fixation level for the management of unstable thoracolumbar spine fractures exists. Often poor results are reported with short-segment fixation. The present study is undertaken to compare the effect of fixation level and variable duration of postoperative immobilization on the outcome of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures treated by posterior stabilization without bone grafting.
Patients and Methods:
A randomized, prospective, and consecutive series was conducted at a tertiary level medical center. Thirty-six neurologically intact (Frankel type E) thoracolumbar burst fracture patients admitted at our institute between February 2003 and December 2005 were randomly divided into three groups. Group I (n = 15) and II (n = 11) patients were treated by short-segment fixation, while Group III (n = 10) patients were treated by long-segment fixation. In Group I ambulation was delayed to 10th-14th postoperative day, while group II and III patients were mobilized on third postoperative day. Anterior body height loss (ABHL) percentage and increase in kyphosis as measured by Cobb's angle were calculated preoperatively, postoperatively, and at follow-up. Denis Pain Scale and Work Scales were obtained during follow-up.
Mean follow-up was 13.7 months (range 3-27 months). At the final follow-up the mean ABHL was 4.73% in group I compared with 16.2% in group II and 6.20% in group III. The mean Cobb's angle loss was 1.8° in group I compared with 5.91° in group II and 2.3° in group III. The ABHL difference between groups I and II was significant (P = 0.0002), while between groups I and III was not significant (P = 0.49).
The short-segment fixation with amenable delayed ambulation is a valid option for the management of thoracolumbar burst fractures, as radiological results are comparable to that of long-segment fixation with the advantage of preserving maximum number of motion segments.
PMCID: PMC2762247  PMID: 19838371
Delayed ambulation; dorsolumbar spine fracture; posterior fixation; short segment vs long segment
20.  Inclusion of the fracture level in short segment fixation of thoracolumbar fractures 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(10):1651-1656.
Short segment posterior fixation is the preferred method for stabilizing thoracolumbar fractures. In case of significant disruption of the anterior column, the simple short segment construct does not ensure adequate stability. In this study, we tried to evaluate the effect of inclusion of the fractured vertebra in short segment fixation of thoracolumbar fractures. In a prospective randomized study, eighty patients with thoracolumbar fractures treated just with posterior pedicular fixation were randomized into two groups receiving either the one level above and one level below excluding the fracture level (bridging group), or including the fracture level (including group). Different clinical and radiological parameters were recorded and followed. A sum of 80 patients (42 patients in group 1 and 38 patients in group 2) were enrolled in the study. The patients in both the groups showed similar clinical outcome. There was a high rate of instrumentation failure in the “bridging” group. The “bridging” group showed a mean worsening (29%) in kyphosis, whereas the “including” group improved significantly by a mean of 6%. The significant effect of the “including” technique on the reduction of kyphotic deformity was most prominent in type C fractures. In conclusion, inclusion of the fracture level into the construct offers a better kyphosis correction, in addition to fewer instrument failures, without additional complications, and with a comparable-if not better-clinical and functional outcome. We recommend insertion of screws into pedicles of the fractured thoracolumbar vertebra when considering a short segment posterior fixation, especially in Magerl type C fractures.
PMCID: PMC2989232  PMID: 20495932
Thoracolumbar instrumentation; Short segment; Including; Pedicular fixation; Fracture level
21.  Thoracolumbar burst fractures with a neurological deficit treated with posterior decompression and interlaminar fusion 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(12):2195-2201.
To our knowledge, thoracolumbar burst fractures with a neurological deficit treated with posterior decompression and interlaminar fusion have never been reported. Our study was to assess the outcome of posterior decompression and interlaminar fusion in treating thoracolumbar burst fractures with a neurological deficit.
Materials and methods
Forty-one patients suffering from thoracolumbar burst fractures with a neurological deficit were included this study. All patients were treated with posterior decompression, interlaminar fusion and short-segment fixation of the vertebrae above and below the fracture level and the fractured vertebrae.
All patients were followed up for at least 24 months after surgery. Operative time and blood loss averaged 72 min and 325 ml, respectively. Thirty-eight patients with incomplete neurological lesions improved, by at least one American Spine Injury Association grade, whereas no neurological deterioration was observed in any case. Overall sagittal alignment improved from an average preoperative 22.4°–4.6° kyphosis at the final follow-up observation. The anterior vertebral body height ratio improved from 0.61 before surgery to 0.90 after surgery, whereas posterior vertebral body height ratio improved from 0.90 to 0.95. Spinal canal encroachment was reduced from an average 61.5% before surgery to 8.7% after surgery. Interlaminar radiological fusion was achieved within 6–8 months after surgery. No instrumentation failure was found in any patients.
Posterior decompression, interlaminar fusion with posterior short-segment fixation provided excellent immediate reduction for traumatic segmental kyphosis and significant spinal canal clearance, and restored vertebral body height in the fracture level in patients with a thoracolumbar burst fracture and associated neurological deficit.
PMCID: PMC3229728  PMID: 21688000
Burst fracture; Neurological deficit; Thoracolumbar spine; Fusion
22.  Recombinant bone morphogenetic protein-7 as an intracorporal bone growth stimulator in unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures in humans: preliminary results 
European Spine Journal  1999;8(6):485-490.
The study presented here is a pilot study in five patients with unstable thoracolumbar spine fractures treated with transpedicular OP-1 transplantation, short segment instrumentation and posterolateral fusion. Recombinant bone morphogenetic protein-7 in combination with a collagen carrier, also referred to as OP-1, has demonstrated ability to induce healing in long-bone segmental defects in dogs, rabbits and monkeys and to induce successful posterolateral spinal fusion in dogs without need for autogenous bone graft. Furthermore OP-1 has been demonstrated to be effective as a bone graft substitute when performing the PLIF maneuver in a sheep model. Five patients with single-level unstable burst fracture and no neurological impairment were treated with intracorporal OP-1 transplantation, posterior fixation (USS) and posterolateral fusion. One patient with osteomalacia and an L2 burst fracture had an additional intracorporal transplantation performed proximal to the instrumented segment, i.e. OP-1 into T 12 and autogenous bone into T 11. Follow-up time was 12–18 months. On serial radiographs, Cobb and kyphotic angles, as well as anterior, middle and posterior column heights, were measured. Serial CT scans were performed to determine the bone mineral density at fracture level.
In one case, radiographic and CT evaluation after 3 and 6 months showed severe resorption at the site of transplantation, but after 12 months, new bone had started to fill in at the area of resorption. In all cases there was loss of correction with regard to anterior and middle column height and sagittal balance at the latest follow-up. These preliminary results regarding OP-1 as a bone graft substitute and stimulator of new bone formation have been disappointing, as the OP-1 device in this study was not capable of inducing an early sufficient structural bone support. There are indications to suggest that OP-1 application to a fracture site in humans might result in detrimental enhanced bone resorption as a primary event.
PMCID: PMC3611219  PMID: 10664308
Key words Thoracolumbar burst fractures; Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-7; Transpedicular transplantation; Clinical results; Bone graft; substitute
23.  Posterior pedicle screw fixation with supplemental laminar hook fixation for the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2008;51(1):35-40.
Surgical treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures with posterior short-segment pedicle fixation usually provides excellent initial correction of kyphotic deformity, but a significant amount of correction can be lost afterwards. This study evaluates the clinical relevance of the short-segment pedicle fixation supplemented by laminar hooks (2HS-1SH) construct in the surgical treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures. Twenty-five patients with a single-level thoracolumbar burst fracture were assessed in this retrospective study. All patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year (mean 2.9 [standard deviation {SD}] 1.5 y). Preoperative vertebral height loss and local kyphosis were 35% (SD 14%) and 19° (SD 9°), respectively. Mean corrections of vertebral height and kyphosis were 10% (SD 16%) and 12° (SD 9°), respectively. Mean loss of correction at last follow-up was 2% (SD 6%) and 4° (SD 3°) for vertebral height and kyphosis, respectively. Loss of correction was significant for local kyphosis (p < 0.001) but not for vertebral height (p = 0.20). Despite the significant loss of correction for local kyphosis, it remained improved at latest follow-up when compared with the preoperative value (p < 0.001). For patients with more than 2 years of follow-up, most of the loss of correction in local kyphosis occurred during the first postoperative year. There was no evidence of instrumentation failure or pseudarthrosis in any patient. The 2HS-1SH construct provides significant correction of vertebral body height and local kyphosis. It also preserves the initial correction and minimizes the risk of instrumentation failure.
PMCID: PMC2386299  PMID: 18248703
24.  Anterior decompression with single segmental spinal interbody fusion for Denis type B thoracolumbar burst fracture: a midterm follow-up study 
International Orthopaedics  2013;37(11):2205-2209.
Our goal was to observe the midterm results of a case series of Denis type B thoracolumbar burst fracture treated with anterior decompression with single segmental spinal Interbody fusion.
Twenty patients with Denis type B thoracolumbar burst fractures underwent anterior decompression with single segmental spinal Interbody fusion. They underwent clinical and radiologic follow-up for at least three years after the surgery.
The mean follow-up period lasted 57 months. To the last follow-up, there were no cases of internal fixation loosening, failure and other complications. Titanium mesh or interbody bone grafts were in good position. Spinal kyphosis was not observed. Interbody fusion was achieved for all cases. The average fusion time was 4.5 months. Based on visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores, percentage of vertebral body height loss and Cobb angle, the difference was statistically significant between the preoperative period and postoperative one year or final follow-up (P < 0.05). Results at postoperative one year and final follow-up were better than the preoperative period. However, the difference was not significant between postoperative one year and final follow-up (P > 0.05).
Good midterm results on clinical and radiologic evaluation of anterior decompression with single segmental spinal Interbody fusion for suitable patients with Denis type B thoracolumbar burst fracture can be achieved. The incident rate of relative complications is low.
PMCID: PMC3824886  PMID: 24162182
Thoracolumbar spine; Burst fracture; Denis type B; Anterior decompression; Single segmental fusion; Midterm result
25.  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

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