Five-year follow up results of posterior decompression and fixation surgery for delayed neural disorder associated with osteoporotic vertebral fracture

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Abstract

Usually, after osteoporotic vertebral fracture (OVF), bone healing follows a normal clinical course leading to bone union with conservative treatment using a brace. However, some patients with OVF do not undergo the normal fracture healing process for a few months, possibly leading to delayed union and/or pseudoarthrosis. In these cases, we performed posterior surgery with combined decompression, vertebroplasty, and posterior spinal fusion with spinal instrumentation. This study aimed to determine the clinical results of posterior surgery for delayed neural disorder secondary to OVF over a 5-year follow-up.

Forty-one Japanese patients who had posterior surgery for delayed paralysis secondary to OVF were enrolled in this study. All patients were followed for ≥5 years (mean, 67 months; range, 61–86 months). Patients comprised 12 men and 29 women with an average age of 76.3 ± 6.2 years (range 63–87 years) at the time of operation. We performed posterior fixation from 2 levels above to 1 level below the decompression and vertebroplasty as an all in one procedure. Vertebral height index (VHI) and kyphotic angle (KA) were evaluated on radiogram. For clinical symptoms, a visual analog scale of back and leg pain and the Frankel classification and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores were used.

During the operation and perioperative period, no serious complications occurred. In all patients, symptoms improved within 1 month and were maintained for 5 years postoperatively. In all patients, VHI and KA improved after surgery; however, reduction losses of 7.7% of VHI and 23% of KA were recognized. Five of 41 patients required reoperation due to adjacent vertebral fracture (AVF) and recollapse of the vertebral body.

Operation time and blood loss were acceptable, even for elderly patients. In all patients, alignment and subjective symptoms improved. However, reoperation owing to AVF and recollapse was necessary within 1 year in 5 of 41 (12%) patients. Careful follow-up is required within 1 year after surgery for OVF.

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