Clinical outcome and surgical strategies for late post-traumatic kyphosis after failed thoracolumbar fracture operation: Case report and literature review

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Abstract

Rationale:

Thoracic-lumbar vertebral fracture is very common in clinic, and late post-traumatic kyphosis is the main cause closely related to the patients’ life quality, which has evocated extensive concern for the surgical treatment of the disease. This study aimed to analyze the clinical outcomes and surgical strategies for late post-traumatic kyphosis after failed thoracolumbar fracture operation.

Patient concerns:

All patients presented back pain with kyphotic apex vertebrae between T12 and L3. According to Frankel classification grading system, among them, 3 patients were classified as grade D, with the ability to live independently.

Diagnoses:

A systematic review of 12 case series of post-traumatic kyphosis after failed thoracolumbar fracture operation was involved.

Interventions:

Wedge osteotomy was performed as indicated—posterior closing osteotomy correction in 5 patients and anterior open-posterior close correction in 7 patients.Postoperatively, thoracolumbar x-rays were obtained to evaluate the correction of kyphotic deformity, visual analog scales (VAS) and Frankel grading system were used for access the clinical outcomes.

Outcomes:

All the patients were followed up, with the average period of 38.5 months (range 24–56 months). The Kyphotic Cobb angle was improved from preoperative (28.65 ± 11.41) to postoperative (1.14 ± 2.79), with the correction rate of 96.02%. There was 1 case of intraoperative dural tear, without complications such as death, neurological injury, and wound infection. According to Frankel grading system, no patient suffered deteriorated neurological symptoms after surgery, and 2 patients (2/3) experienced significant relief after surgery. The main VAS score of back pain was improved from preoperative (4.41 ± 1.08) to postoperative (1.5 ± 0.91) at final follow-up, with an improvement rate of 65.89%.

Lessons:

Surgical treatment of late post-traumatic kyphosis after failed thoracolumbar fracture operation can obtain good radiologic and clinical outcomes by kyphosis correction, decompression, and posterior stability.

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