Makkena Ravikanth1, Tummala Venkata Suresh Babu2, Annamalai Chandrasekaran3
Transpedicular instrumentation systems have distinct advantages such as rigid segmental fixation, stabilization of the three columns, least failure at bone metal interface, early post-operative mobilization with efficient nursing care and least complications in the management of thoracolumbar burst fractures. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare the clinical and radiological outcome of thoracolumbar burst fractures treated by short segment and long segment transpedicular instrumentation.
34 patients who underwent posterior spinal stabilization with transpedicular instrumentation and posterolateral fusion for unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures with or without neurological deficit were included in the study. Load sharing classification (Gaines scoring) was used retrospectively to correlate fracture comminution and displacement with progression of the deformity and implant failure. Neurological evaluation was done and patients were graded according to ASIA (American Spinal Cord Injury Association) impairment scale as a part of physical examination.
The mean intra-operative correction in the short segment group was 14.4° and the loss of correction observed at the last follow-up evaluation was 7.48° with a final gain of 6.92°. The mean intra-operative correction in the long segment group was 19.77° and the loss of correction observed at the last follow-up evaluation was 6.61°. Final gain was 13.16°. On radiological evaluation, mean correction loss of 7.48 degrees and 3.4% implant failure was noted in the short segment group while the long segment group had 6.61 degrees of mean correction loss and no implant failure. There was no positive correlation found between Gaines score with progression of deformity.
Transpedicular fixation is a stable, reliable and less surgically extensive construct for addressing thoracolumbar burst fractures. About 6-8° loss of correction was observed with both short and long segment stabilizations in our study. Long segment has better results in terms of maintenance of reduction and final gain.