Less Invasive Surgery is Feasible in the Management of Traumatic Thoracolumbar Fractures in Isolated and Polytrauma Injury

I. Sanli*, A. Spoor, S. P. J. Muijs, F. C. Oner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Less invasive stabilization systems (LISSs) have gained popularity. However, limited quality of life (QOL) and clinical outcome data exist for trauma patients treated with LISSs. The objective of this study is to describe QOL and outcome for posterior percutaneous pedicle screw fixation in the management of traumatic thoracolumbar fractures.

Methods: Between January 2006 and December 2011, data from all patients treated with a posterior percutaneous pedicle screw fixation technique for thoracolumbar fractures were collected and analyzed. Sixty-nine patients met the inclusion criteria. Additional vertebral reduction and cement augmentation was used in 25 patients, when there was more than 50% of vertebral body comminution.

Results: Mean follow up of 19 months (range = 6-49 months). Fifty-one percent of the study population consisted of polytrauma patients, with 22% having injury severity score >= 15. In 6 cases (8.7%) there were perioperative complications. Response rate for the follow-up health survey was 78%, with a satisfactory overall median EuroQuol score of 0.811 (Q1-Q3 95% confidence interval = 0.709-0.897).

Conclusions: Posterior percutaneous pedicle screw fixation proves to be effective in the management of traumatic thoracolumbar fractures, with a good overall functional outcome. Percutaneous techniques that reduce perioperative morbidity are an alternative approach well suited for damage control orthopaedics, as long as there are no neurological deficits. Especially in polytrauma patients with spine fractures, the spinal column can be stabilized in an emergency setting, while limiting the risks of "a second hit'' at the patients' already frail condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Spine Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • less invasive surgery
  • pedicle screw fixation
  • thoracolumbar fracture
  • quality of life

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