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The Use of Screw at the Fracture Level in the Treatment of Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures

Guven, Osman MD*; Kocaoglu, Baris MD*; Bezer, Murat MD; Aydin, Nuri MD*; Nalbantoglu, Ufuk MD*

Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques: August 2009 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - pp 417-421
doi: 10.1097/BSD.0b013e3181870385
Original Articles

Study Design: In this prospective randomized study, the results of treating unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures by pedicle instrumentation with and without fracture level screw combination were given.

Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of fracture level screw combination in achieving and maintaining correction in the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Summary of Background Data: Most authors reported that intraoperative correction of sagittal deformity is important for the maintenance of fracture reduction and is one of the most consistent predictor of satisfactory functional outcome.

Methods: Seventy-two patients with unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures were randomized into 4 groups with equal number of patients. In group 1, patients were treated by segmental posterior instrumentation with 2 levels above and 2 levels below the fracture level fixation, in group 2 they were treated as in group 1 with fracture level screw incorporation. In group 3, patients were treated by short-segment posterior instrumentation with 1 level above and 1 level below, in group 4 they were treated by short-segment posterior instrumentation with fracture level screw incorporation. Clinical and radiologic parameters were evaluated before surgery, after surgery, and at follow-up.

Results: The average follow-up was 50 months. Fracture level screw combination provided better intraoperative correction and maintenance in the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures, which was more prevalent in short-segment fixation group.

Conclusions: Reinforcement with fracture level screw combination can help to provide better kyphosis correction and offers immediate spinal stability in patients with thoracolumbar burst fracture.

*Department of Orthopeadic Surgery, Acibadem Kadikoy Hospital

Department of Orthopeadic Surgery, Marmara University Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Reprints: Baris Kocaoglu, MD, Department of Orthopeadic Surgery, Acibadem Kadikoy Hospital, Sırmaperde sok no:69, F blok/2 Altunizade Konutları, Altunizade, Istanbul, Turkey (e-mail:

Received for publication January 15, 2008; accepted July 15, 2008

Not supported by any organization and made by the authors own funds.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.