Short segment pedicle screw fixation of thoracolumbar fracture: a case series of 33 patients
Keywords:Thoracolumbar fracture spine, Pedicle screw, Vertebral body height, Anterior wedge angle, Regional angle, Neurology
Background: Pedicle screw instrumentation in case of fracture spine provides stable fixation. However in absence of experience and proper technique of pedicle screw insertion, it is associated with many complications. We aim to study the results of patients with thoracolumbar fracture stabilized with short segment pedicle screw instrumentation.
Methods: 33 cases of thoracolumbar wedge compression fracture spine presenting to Nair Hospital were included in the study. All patients were operated by the senior author via a posterior approach and short segment pedicle screw fixation. Patients were followed up for one year.
Results: 33 patients with a mean age were 37.6 years of which 3 were females and 30 were males in our study. Fall from height (93.93%) was the most common mode of injury followed by road traffic accident (6.07%). D12 and L1 were the most common vertebrae involved. Statistically significant (p=0.01) correction in the vertebral body height occurred in the immediate postop period and there was 4.1% loss of correction at final follow-up. There was statistically significant improvements in the Regional angle (p=0.03) and anterior wedge angle (p=0.03). Residual regional angle at final follow-up was found to be >5° in 3 patients. Neurological improvement was seen in 23 (74.19%) patients (p=0.01). No improvements were seen in 8 (25.81%) patients. None of our patients had postoperative worsening of the neurological status. None of the patients had pedicle wall breach on final follow up CT scan.
Conclusions: Short segment fixation in case of wedge fracture can restore the vertebral body height, mean regional angle and mean anterior wedge angle and provide good outcome. There are poor chances of recovery of patient with Frankel grade A. Meticulous dissection and careful technique of pedicle screw insertion, adequate decompression, good contouring of the rod with correction of kyphosis can provide excellent results.
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