Posterior Surgical Correction of Posttraumatic Kyphosis of the Thoracolumbar Segment

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To analyze the clinical characteristics and surgical results of posttraumatic kyphosis of the thoracolumbar segment.


Thirty-four patients with posttraumatic kyphosis of the thoracolumbar segment underwent posterior osteotomy, kyphosis correction, and fixation at our hospital. The kyphosis apex was from T10 to L2. There were 15 male and 19 female patients. The mean age was 48.9 years. Full-spine standing radiographs were obtained before surgery, after surgery, and at follow-up. The sagittal spine balance status was evaluated, and the kyphotic angle, the lumbar lordotic angle, and the thoracic kyphotic angle were measured. The Frankel grading system for neurological functions and the Visual Analogue Scale for back pain were evaluated before surgery and at follow-up. The Oswestry Disability Index was applied for assessment of life quality and surgical results of patients. The Patient Satisfied Index (PSI) was also used for determination of surgical results. Patients were grouped according to the extent of kyphotic angle and the surgical technique. The difference in kyphosis correction and back pain between groups was observed before and after surgery. Relief from neurological symptoms was also observed.


The average kyphotic angle was 48.5 degrees, the average lumbar lordotic angle was 57.9 degrees, and the average thoracic kyphotic angle was 11.4 degrees before surgery. The sagittal spine balance was well maintained in 14 cases, and negative imbalance and positive imbalance were seen in 13 cases and 7 cases, respectively. There was significant difference in back pain between patients in the abnormal and normal groups of the lumbar lordotic angle. The average follow-up time after surgery was 32.1 months. The average kyphotic angle correction rate was 90.4% after surgery and 87.2% at follow-up. The average Oswestry Disability Index was 50.4% before surgery, which improved to 29.4% at follow-up, with an improvement rate of 41.5%. The Patient Satisfied Index result showed a total satisfactory rate of 94.1%. There were 16 cases of neurological deficit before surgery; 8 of them achieved various degrees of improvement after surgery.


Surgical correction of posttraumatic kyphosis of the thoracolumbar segment can show good radiologic and clinical results with the appropriate procedure according to the extent of the kyphosis angle. Some patients with neurological deficit are still worthy of surgical treatment.

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