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Surgical Techniques   |    
Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures Treated with Posterior Decompression and Pedicle Screw Instrumentation Supplemented with Balloon-Assisted Vertebroplasty and Calcium Phosphate ReconstructionSurgical Technique
Rex A.W. Marco, MD1; B. Christoph Meyer, MD2; Vivek P. Kushwaha, MD1
1 Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery (R.A.W.M. and V.P.K.) and Neurosurgery (R.A.W.M.), The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6700 West Loop South, Suite 110, Bellaire, TX 77401. E-mail address for R.A.W. Marco: rexmarco@gmail.com
2 8200 Wednesbury Lane, Suite 360, Houston, TX 77074
View Disclosures and Other Information
DISCLOSURE: In support of their research for or preparation of this work, one or more of the authors received, in any one year, outside funding or grants in excess of $10,000 from the Spine Research Foundation. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. Commercial entities (DePuy Spine, Medtronic, and Synthes) paid or directed in any one year, or agreed to pay or direct, benefits in excess of $10,000 to a research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which one or more of the authors, or a member of his or her immediate family, is affiliated or associated.

Investigation performed at Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas
The original scientific article in which the surgical technique was presented was published in JBJS Vol. 91 -A, pp. 20-8, January 2009
A video supplement to this article will be available from the Video Journal of Orthopaedics. A video clip will be available at the JBJS web site, www.jbjs.org. The Video Journal of Orthopaedics can be contacted at (805) 962-3410, web site: www.vjortho.com.

Copyright ©2010 American Society for Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques, 2010 Mar 01;92(Supplement 1 Part 1):67-76. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.01236
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: 

The treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures with short-segment posterior spinal instrumentation without anterior column reconstruction is associated with a high rate of screw breakage and progressive loss of reduction. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the functional, neurologic, and radiographic results following transpedicular, balloon-assisted fracture reduction with anterior column reconstruction with use of calcium phosphate bone cement combined with short-segment posterior instrumentation and a laminectomy.

METHODS: 

A consecutive series of thirty-eight patients with an unstable thoracolumbar burst fracture with or without neurologic deficit were managed with transpedicular, balloon-assisted fracture reduction, calcium phosphate bone cement reconstruction, and short-segment spinal instrumentation from 2002 to 2005. Twenty-eight of the thirty-eight patients were followed for a minimum of two years. Demographic data, neurologic function, segmental kyphosis, the fracture severity score, canal compromise, the Short Form-36 score, the Oswestry Disability Index score, and treatment-related complications were evaluated prospectively.

RESULTS: 

All thirteen patients with incomplete neurologic deficits had improvement by at least one Frankel grade. The mean kyphotic angulation improved from 17° preoperatively to 7° at the time of the latest follow-up, and the loss of vertebral body height improved from a mean of 42% preoperatively to 14% at the time of the latest follow-up. Screw breakage occurred in two patients, and pseudarthrosis occurred in one patient.

CONCLUSIONS: 

The present study demonstrates that excellent reduction of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures with and without associated neurologic deficits can be maintained with use of short-segment instrumentation and a transpedicular balloon-assisted reduction combined with anterior column reconstruction with calcium phosphate bone cement performed through a single posterior incision. The resultant circumferential stabilization combined with a decompressive laminectomy led to maintained or improved neurologic function in all patients with neurologic deficits, with a low rate of instrumentation failure and loss of correction.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CITATION: 

"Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures Treated with Posterior Decompression and Pedicle Screw Instrumentation Supplemented with Balloon-Assisted Vertebroplasty and Calcium Phosphate Reconstruction" (2009;91:20-8).

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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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