Surgical Stabilization of Fracture and Fracture Dislocations of the Thoracic Spine

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Thirty patients having T1 through T11 fractures stabilized by fusion or Harrington instrumentation were followed from 1964 through 1975. They were studied to determine the results in achieving spine stabilization in injury treatment early as well as late; the neurologic course before and after treatment; and the effect of treatment on the course of the spine deformity and the neurologic deficit. The findings support the following conclusions: unstable thoracic spine fractures may be managed successfully by Harrington instrumentation and spine fusion; stable fractures may be made unstable by laminectomy; complete paraplegia is unaltered by type of treatment; incomplete cord lesions carry a favorable prognosis; adequate decompression may be furnished by fracture alignment.

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