Single screw-rod anterior instrumentation for thoracolumbar burst fractures with incomplete neurological deficit.

Journal of orthopaedic surgery (Hong Kong)

PubMedID: 23629993

Sharma S, Singh D, Singh M, Kohli A, Singh G, Arora M. Single screw-rod anterior instrumentation for thoracolumbar burst fractures with incomplete neurological deficit. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2013;21(1):71-6.
PURPOSE
To evaluate the outcome of single screwrod anterior instrumentation for thoracolumbar burst fractures with incomplete neurological deficit.

METHODS
16 men and 5 women aged 22 to 55 (mean, 34) years underwent single screw-rod anterior instrumentation for thoracolumbar burst fractures with incomplete neurological deficit. The vertebrae involved were T10 (n=2), T11 (n=2), T12 (n=7), L1 (n=8), and L2 (n=2). No patient had disruption of the posterior ligament complex. Postoperatively, a thoracolumbar sacral orthosis was used until solid fusion. Outcome measures included neurological recovery, degree of kyphosis, complications, and pain and functional status of the patients.

RESULTS
The mean follow-up duration was 36 (range, 13-50) months. All patients recovered neurologically by at least one grade. Of the 21 patients, 6 improved from grade B to grade C (n=4) or grade D (n=2), 13 from grade C to grade D, and 2 from grade D to grade E. The mean degree of kyphosis improved from 23º ± 5º to 7º ± 3º. Seven patients had complications including ipsilateral basal atelectasis (n=3), urinary tract infection (n=1), haematuria (n=1), postoperative ileus (n=1), and superficial wound infection (n=1). None had iatrogenic visceral or vascular injury, pseudoarthrosis or hardware-related complications. Only one patient had severe back pain persistently.

CONCLUSION
Single screw-rod anterior instrumentation supplemented with an orthosis can be an alternative for double screw-rod anterior instrumentation for thoracolumbar burst fractures in patients with smaller vertebral bodies.