Comparison of Open Versus Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation Using the Sextant System in the Treatment of Traumatic Thoracolumbar Fractures

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Study Design:

We retrospectively reviewed 100 patients who were posterior stabilized without graft fusion. Using the Sextant system, 22 patients underwent minimally invasive short-segment 4-pedicle screw fixation (MIF4) and 39 patients underwent minimally invasive short-segment combined with intermediate screws fixation, that is, 6-pedicle screw fixation (MIF6). The conventional open posterior short-segment 4-pedicle screw fixation (OPF4) technique was used in 39 patients.


To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of percutaneous pedicle screw fixation using the Sextant system in the treatment of traumatic thoracolumbar fractures compared with the conventional open posterior short-segment pedicle screw fixation technique.

Summary of Background Data:

To the best of our knowledge, the clinical and radiographic outcomes of MIF4, MIF6 with polyaxial pedicle screws, and OPF4 with monoaxial pedicle screws have not been compared in the treatment of thoracolumbar fractures.


Visual analogue scores (VAS), Oswestry disability index (ODI) scores, clinical outcomes including surgical blood loss, operation time, and postoperative hospital stay, sagittal Cobb angle, vertebral body angle, and anterior height of the fractured vertebrae were compared among the 3 groups.


Significant postoperative improvements, relative to baseline, were observed in the VAS and ODI scores (P<0.05 each). There were no significant differences between the MIF4 and MIF6 groups in clinical outcomes, including surgical blood loss, operation time, postoperative hospital stay, VAS, and ODI scores (P>0.05 each). However, there were significant differences between both MIF groups and the OPF group (P<0.05 each). Significant improvements were observed in the sagittal Cobb angle, vertebral body angle, and anterior height of the fractured vertebrae (P<0.05 each). During follow-up, however, the correction loss of the sagittal Cobb angle was smallest in the MIF6 group (P<0.05).


Minimally invasive posterior stabilization using the Sextant system resulted in reduced injury compared with the open surgery, during both the internal fixation surgery and the implant removal surgery. Percutaneous screw fixation through the pedicle of the fractured vertebra is superior to the conventional OPF4 technique in correcting kyphotic deformities, and can be performed without any extra procedures.

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