Evaluation of outcome of posterior decompression and instrumented fusion in thoracolumbar fractures

Akshay Jain, Utkarsh Agrawal, Pronnat Jain, Arjun Jain, R. K. Jain


Background: The fractures of the thoracolumbar junction are the most common injuries of the vertebral column. Fall from a height and road traffic accidents are the main causes of injury. The present study aims to evaluate the functional, neurological and radiological outcome of the posterior decompression and instrumented fusion in operated patients with thoracolumbar fractures.

Methods: In this retrospective and prospective study, a cohort of 30 patients with thoracolumbar fractures, classified by thoracolumbar injury classification and severity (TLICS) scoring system, underwent posterior decompression and pedicle screw fixation from January 2013 to August 2018 were included. Patients were assessed functionally (ODI score), neurologically (MRC grading) and radiologically (kyphotic angle) preoperatively and at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post-operatively.

Results: The mean ODI score improved from 87.40 pre-operatively to 13.33 at final follow-up (p value 0.001). The mean kyphotic angle decreased from 24.37 degrees preoperatively to 9.87 degrees postoperatively (p value 0.001) with mean loss of correction of 1.16 degrees at final follow-up. Hip flexors and knee extensors improved from a mean preoperative value of 2.60 to 4.83 at final follow-up (p value 0.001). Similarly, ankle dorsiflexors, long toe extensors and ankle plantar flexors improved from mean preoperative value of 2.53, 2.50 and 2.60 to 3.93, 3.80 and 4.73 at final follow-up, respectively (p value 0.001).

Conclusions: Posterior decompression and instrumented fusion is a safe and effective surgical option in patients with thoracolumbar fractures. TLICS scoring system has a prognostic value and helps in determining the prognosis in these patients.


Thoracolumbar fractures, TLICS score, Posterior decompression, Instrumented fusion

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