Algorhythm for Use of Percutaneous Short Fixation of Fractures Involving the Thoracolumbar Junction and Lumbar Spine


Study Design: Original article. Objective: Guidelines for deciding whether to perform open or percutaneous surgery in burst fractures. Summary of Background Data: The authors propose an algorithm for deciding whether to perform open surgery or percutaneous surgery with short fixation in patients with fractures of the thoracolumbar junction and lumbar spine. Methods: Between July 2005 and July 2009, 72 patients underwent surgical stabilization by posterior route for fractures of the thoracolumbar junction and lumbar spine. In 44 the lesion involved the thoracolumbar junction, in 28 the lumbar spine (L2 in6 cases, L3 in15 cases, L5 in7 cases). The fractures were assessed morphologically according to Magerl’s classification (52 type A, 12 type B, 8 type C). All patients were analyzed according to the algorithm proposed, according to which patients must fulfil certain criteria: the fracture must be Magerl type A.3, it must involve one level, McCormack score must be 6 or less, invasion of the spinal canal must be 25% or less according to Hashimoto’s formula, Magnetic Resonance Imating (MRI) must confirm discoligamentous integrity. Neurologically, the patient must be ASIA E. 25 patients (17 thoracolumbar junction, 8 lumbar spine) fulfilled these criteria and were treated by percutaneous short fixation. Results: The average length of the surgical procedure was 80 minutes and the loss of blood 10 cc. All patients were dismissed without brace and were submitted to follow-upComputed Tomography CTscan 3 and 6 months after surgery. Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 4 years. In all cases CT scan confirmed fusion and there were no cases of rupture of the device. None of the patients presented neurological deficits. Conclusion: The algorithm described permits a proper selection of patients with thoracolumbar fractures who can be treated by percutaneous short fixation, thus avoiding the risks connected with failure of the stabilization system.

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N. Marotta, A. Landi and R. Delfini, "Algorhythm for Use of Percutaneous Short Fixation of Fractures Involving the Thoracolumbar Junction and Lumbar Spine," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 7A, 2013, pp. 18-23. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.47A1003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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