Surgical treatment in the case of thoracolumbar burst fractures is very controversial. Posterior instrumentation is most frequently used, however, but the number of levels to be instrumented still remains a matter of debate.
Materials and Methods
A total of 94 patients who had a single burst fracture between T11 and L2 were selected and were managed using posterior instrumentation with anterior fusion when necessary. They were divided into three groups as follows; Group I (n = 28) included patients who were operated by intermediate segment fixation, Group II (n = 32) included patients operated by long segment fixation, and Group III (n = 34) included those operated by intermediate segment fixation with a pair of additional screws in the fractured vertebra. The mean follow-up period was twenty one months. The outcomes were analyzed in terms of kyphosis angle (KA), regional kyphosis angle (RA), sagittal index (SI), anterior height compression rate, Frankel classification, and Oswestry Disability Index questionnaire.
In Groups II and III, the correction values of KA, RA, and SI were much better than in Group I. At the final follow up, the correction values of KA (6.3 and 12.1, respectively) and SI (6.2 and 12.0, respectively) were in Groups II and III found to be better in the latter.
The intermediate segment fixation with an additional pair of screws at the fracture level vertebra gives results that are comparable or even better than long segment fixation and gives an advantage of preserving an extra mobile segment.