Positioning Thoracic Pedicle Screw Entry Point Using a New Landmark: A Study Based on 3-Dimensional Computed Tomographic Scan

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Study Design.A novel method to identify the entry point.Objective.To quantify the position of thoracic pedicle screw entry points on the lamina at various segments of the thoracic vertebrae in normal subjects and patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and propose a new technique to select entry points using a new landmark.Summary of Background Data.Thoracic pedicle screws have been widely used in thoracic surgery, and the placement of pedicle screws has been studied extensively. However, there are only qualitative studies on selecting the entry point, and no study has quantified the position of entry points.Methods.A retrospective study using 3-dimensional computed tomographic reconstruction techniques were used to study the morphology of thoracic vertebrae in 110 adolescents (56 cases of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and 54 normal subjects). A quantitative area was used to select the entry point. Thoracic pedicle screw entry point was determined using the new landmark as reference and thoracic pedicle screws were placed in 21 patients. Postoperative computed tomographic scanning was performed to assess the safety and effectiveness of this entry point selection technique.Results.We determined that the accuracy of pedicle screw placing after positioning entry point using the quantitative area was significantly superior to that after positioning entry point using the traditional method (P < 0.05).Conclusion.The new technique quantifies the position of each thoracic pedicle screw entry point and it is convenient, easy to operate, and has relatively high accuracy of screw placement. This positioning technique can provide safe and accurate clinical guidance for selecting thoracic pedicle screw entry point.Level of Evidence: 4

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