Minimally Invasive Posterior Decompression Combined With Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation for the Treatment of Thoracolumbar Fractures With Neurological Deficits: A Prospective Randomized Study Versus Traditional Open Posterior Surgery

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Study Design.Prospective randomized cohort study.Objective.To compare the surgical results of minimally invasive posterior decompression combined with percutaneous pedicle screws fixation (minimally invasive surgery [MIS]) and posterior open surgery (OS) for the treatment of thoracolumbar fracture with neurological deficits.Summary of Background Data.Thoracolumbar fracture with neurological deficits usually undergoes surgical intervention. OS can achieve satisfied results, but the main disadvantage is approach-related complications. No study, however, focused on the treatment of this disease by MIS through posterior approach.Methods.Sixty consecutive cases of thoracolumbar fractures with neurological deficits were randomized into MIS group and OS group. Incision length, blood loss, postoperative drainage volume, hospitalization days, blood transfusion rate, analgesic use rate, and x-ray exposure time were used to evaluate the perioperative information and Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Japanese Orthopedics Association (JOA) score, and American Spinal Injury Association grade for patients’ symptom. For radiological assessment, sagittal Cobb angle, percentage of vertebral height, and vertebral wedging angle were measured.Results.Fifty-nine of sixty patients were followed-up for at least 12 months. MIS group was superior in perioperative information (P < 0.05), except in the operative time (P = 0.165) and x-ray time (P = 0.000). The operative time seemed longer in MIS group, but no significant difference was found. The x-ray time was significantly higher in MIS group. The mean Visual Analog Scale and Japanese Orthopedics Association scores of the final follow-up in MIS group were better than that in OS group (P < 0.05). Patients in both group achieved a similar neurological recovery according to American Spinal Injury Association grade (P = 0.760). A broken screw was found in one patient in MIS group and a broken rod in one patient in OS group.Conclusion.MIS group has achieved the similar effect of OS group and it can minimize the approach-related complication. It also faced with some shortages, such as larger radiation dose and longer learning curve.Level of Evidence: 2

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