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Posterior Fusion for Thoracolumbar Fractures with a Neurologic Deficit: A Comparison of Fusion and Additional Decompression

  • Journal of Korean Society of Spine Surgery
  • Abbr : J Kor Spine Sur
  • 2016, 23(1), pp.7-14
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Spine Surgery
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > Orthopedic Surgery

Sohn Hong Moon 1 유재원 1 박상수 2 Bosun Kim 2 정성 2

1조선대학교
2조선대학교 의과대학 정형외과학교실, 척추센터

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Study Design: A retrospective study. Objectives: To understand the necessity of additional posterior decompression when treating a patient with posterior fusion for thoracolumbar fractures with a neurologic deficit. Summary of Literature Review: Additional posterior decompression is still controversial when treating a patient with posterior fusion for thoracolumbar fractures with neurologic a deficit. Materials and Methods: 40 patients who underwent posterior fusion surgery for thoracolumbar fractures with a neurologic deficit were evaluated. The posterior fusion group (Group 1) included 23 patients (M:F=14:9), and the posterior decompression with laminectomy and posterolateral fusion group (Group 2) included 17 patients (M:F=9:8). According to the Frankel grade, the most common neurologic deficit was grade D in both groups. Unstable burst fractures were the most commonly observed fractures in both groups according to the McAfee classification. A radiographic evaluation was carried out along with a comparison of the spinal canal encroachment and the kyphotic angle. We evaluated neurologic improvement as the clinical criterion. Results: The l-kyphotic angle at last follow-up was smaller than the preoperative kyphotic angle in both groups. The preoperative canal encroachment was 53.4% (Group 1) and 59.8% (Group 2). Further, neurologic improvement was observed in 19 cases (Group 1) and 14 cases (Group 2). There was no significant difference in the proportion of cases with neurologic improvement between the two groups (improvement in 19 cases in Group 1 and in 14 cases in Group 2) (p<0.05). Further, the preoperative canal encroachment, kyphotic angle, and final neurologic improvement showed no significant correlations between the two groups (p>0.05). Conclusion: We concluded that additional posterior decompression in the case of thoracolumbar fractures with neurologic deficit is not required for neurologic improvement.

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