Restoration of Anterior Vertebral Height by Short-Segment Pedicle Screw Fixation with Screwing of Fractured Vertebra for the Treatment of Unstable Thoracolumbar Fractures
Batcik, Osman Ersagun
Balik, Mehmet Sabri
Guvercin, Ali Riza
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BACKGROUND: the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar fractures remains controversial. Long-segment pedicle screw constructs may be stiffer and impart greater forces on adjacent segments compared with short-segment constructs. Short-segment pedicle screw fixation alone may be associated with instrumentation failure. Reinforcement fractured vertebra by the placement of an additional 2 screws at fracture level may be useful in thoracolumbar fractures for restoration of anterior vertebral height. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 35 patients (21 males, 14 females) with unstable thoracolumbar fractures. the patients were divided into 2 groups. in group I, patients were operated with posterior approach via the use of pedicle screws fixed long (2 levels above and 1 or 2 levels below of the fractured vertebra). in group II patients, short-segment stabilization with additional screwing at fracture level was made. Immediate postoperative radiologic evaluations were done by measuring the correction and maintenance of kyphotic angle at the fracture level, Cobb angle, and height of fractured vertebra. RESULTS: Average local kyphosis angle, anterior kyphotic angle at the fracture level, and Cobb angle were not statistically significantly different in the postoperative period (P > 0.05); however, postoperative anterior height of fractured vertebra was statistically significantly different between the 2 groups (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: We compared a standard long-segment construct with a short-segment construct using instrumentation of the fractured segment. Short-segment pedicle screw fixation with screwing of fractured vertebra in unstable thoracolumbar fracture levels is an effective method to restoring anterior vertebral height for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar fractures. It also provides anterior column support.