Single-stage Transpedicular Decompression and Posterior Instrumentation in Treatment of Thoracic and Thoracolumbar Spinal Tuberculosis: A Retrospective Case Series

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ObjectiveWe compare the surgical results of single-stage posterior surgical procedure performed at a single institute with those of anterior procedure, and propose single-stage posterior surgical approach, laminectomy and posterior decompression with transpedicular instrumentation as an alternative operative method for thoracic and thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis.MethodsFrom January 2001 to December 2004, 10 patients (group 1) who had less bone destruction or poor medical condition were treated with posterior decompression and transpedicular instrumentation that was supplemented with posterolateral bone fusion and chemotherapy. Seven patients (group 2) who had greater bone destruction were treated with anterior decompression, bone fusion, and anterior instrumentation. Except one case who expired, all patients were followed up for average 18 months (6 mo to 3.5 y).ResultsSpinal tuberculosis was completely cured and the grafted bones were fused in all 16 patients. The visual analog scale and Frankel grade improved in all cases. There was no persistence or recurrence of infection possibly related to the instrumentation. There were no differences in the radiological results in both groups. The kyphosis was significantly corrected after surgical management. However, the loss of correction also occurred considerably in both groups.ConclusionsThe posterior decompression with transpedicular instrumentation can be an alternative treatment method of less-involved spinal tuberculosis especially for patients in early phase of bone destruction or ones with mild kyphosis.

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