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Treatment of acute thoracolumbar burst fractures with kyphoplasty and short pedicle screw fixation: Transpedicular intracorporeal grafting with calcium phosphate: A prospective study

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Author(s): Korovessis Panagiotis | Repantis Thomas | George Petsinis

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 41;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 354;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Balloon kyphoplasty | calcium phosphate | neurological deficit | pedicle screw | short internal fixation | thoracolumbar vertebral fracture | transpedicular grafting

ABSTRACT
Background: In the surgical treatment of thoracolumbar fractures, the major problem after posterior correction and transpedicular instrumentation is failure to support the anterior spinal column, leading to loss of correction and instrumentation failure with associated complaints. We conducted this prospective study to evaluate the outcome of the treatment of acute thoracolumbar burst fractures by transpedicular balloon kyphoplasty, grafting with calcium phosphate cement and short pedicle screw fixation plus fusion. Materials and Methods : Twenty-three consecutive patients of thoracolumbar (T 9 to L 4 ) burst fracture with or without neurologic deficit with an average age of 43 years, were included in this prospective study. Twenty-one from the 23 patients had single burst fracture while the remaining two patients had a burst fracture and additionally an adjacent A1-type fracture. On admission six (26%) out of 23 patients had neurological deficit (five incomplete, one complete). Bilateral transpedicular balloon kyphoplasty with liquid calcium phosphate to reduce segmental kyphosis and restore vertebral body height and short (three vertebrae) pedicle screw instrumentation with posterolateral fusion was performed. Gardner kyphosis angle, anterior and posterior vertebral body height ratio and spinal canal encroachment were calculated pre- to postoperatively. Results : All 23 patients were operated within two days after admission and were followed for at least 12 months after index surgery. Operating time and blood loss averaged 45 min and 60 cc respectively. The five patients with incomplete neurological lesions improved by at least one ASIA grade, while no neurological deterioration was observed in any case. The VAS and SF-36 (Role physical and Bodily pain domains) were significantly improved postoperatively. Overall sagittal alignment was improved from an average preoperative 16° to one degree kyphosis at final follow-up observation. The anterior vertebral body height ratio improved from 0.6 preoperatively to 0.9 ( P < 0.001) postoperatively, while posterior vertebral body height improved from 0.95 to 1 ( P < 0.01). Spinal canal encroachment was reduced from an average 32% preoperatively to 20% postoperatively. Cement leakage was observed in four cases (three anterior to vertebral body and one into the disc without sequalae). In the last CT evaluation, there was a continuity between calcium phosphate and cancellous vertebral body bone. Posterolateral radiological fusion was achieved within six months after index operation. There was no instrumentation failure or measurable loss of sagittal curve and vertebral height correction in any group of patients. Conclusions : Balloon kyphoplasty with calcium phosphate cement secured with posterior short fixation in the thoracolumbar spine provided excellent immediate reduction of posttraumatic segmental kyphosis and significant spinal canal clearance and restored vertebral body height in the fracture level.
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