The Use of Screw at the Fracture Level in the Treatment of Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures

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Abstract

Study Design

In this prospective randomized study, the results of treating unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures by pedicle instrumentation with and without fracture level screw combination were given.

Objective

Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of fracture level screw combination in achieving and maintaining correction in the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Summary of Background Data

Most authors reported that intraoperative correction of sagittal deformity is important for the maintenance of fracture reduction and is one of the most consistent predictor of satisfactory functional outcome.

Methods

Seventy-two patients with unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures were randomized into 4 groups with equal number of patients. In group 1, patients were treated by segmental posterior instrumentation with 2 levels above and 2 levels below the fracture level fixation, in group 2 they were treated as in group 1 with fracture level screw incorporation. In group 3, patients were treated by short-segment posterior instrumentation with 1 level above and 1 level below, in group 4 they were treated by short-segment posterior instrumentation with fracture level screw incorporation. Clinical and radiologic parameters were evaluated before surgery, after surgery, and at follow-up.

Results

The average follow-up was 50 months. Fracture level screw combination provided better intraoperative correction and maintenance in the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures, which was more prevalent in short-segment fixation group.

Conclusions

Reinforcement with fracture level screw combination can help to provide better kyphosis correction and offers immediate spinal stability in patients with thoracolumbar burst fracture.

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