Study Design: A retrospective clinical and radiological analysis
Objectives: To determine the relationship between the classifications of unstable burst fractures on the thoracolumbar region,
radiologic studies, signal change area on MRA and analysis of the prognostic factors.
Summary of Literature Review: MRI is the first imaging modality that visualizes the extent of spinal cord derangement directly
and it has the potential to provide an accurate diagnosis and prognosis.
Materials and Methods: From March 1998 to September 2006, 39 patients who were eligible for a follow up of more than 1
year with an unstable burst fracture on the thoracolumbar region were studied. With these cases, The size of the bone fragment
at the initial injury, signal change area on MRI, time to surgery, reduction rate of the bone fragments, recovery of the posterior
curvature of the vertebrae and height of the vertebral body were analyzed.
Results: The mean fracture size rate, average time to surgery, reduction rate of bone fragment and the recovery rate of the
height of the vertebral body was 46.1±12.8%, 17±4.5 hours, 35.2±10.1%, and 57.9±17.4%, respectively. The data shows that
the time elapsed until surgery had no relationship with the prognosis (P=0.317). Injuries with broad signal changes on MRI
were not associated with the reduction rate of bone fragments, recovery of posterior curvature of the vertebrae and the height
of the vertebral body.
Conclusions: In unstable burst fractures of the thoracolumbar region, although a comparison of the prognostic factors on simple
X-ray film had no significance, it still has significant meaning when correlated with the signals on MRI.