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Meding John B.; Stambough, Jeffery L.
Journal of Spinal Disorders: April 1993
Original Article: PDF Only


Fifty patients undergoing anterior spinal decompression with partial or complete corpectomy and fusion with strut grafting were reviewed. The etiology of the spinal lesions included pathologic fracture (9 patients), trauma (22 patients), congenital/developmental lesions (6 patients), failed fusion (6 patients), and degenerative lesions (7 patients). Vertebral body reconstruction of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine used iliac crest (20 cases), rib (12 cases), and fibular autografts (9 cases). Additionally, in 10 cases fibular allografts were used. There were four deaths, all secondary to systemic disease. Of the remaining 46 patients, 2 required revisions and all subsequently progressed to a solid anterior arthrodesis with an average follow-up of 30.4 months (range 12–62 months). Posterior spinal fusion was staged in 38 patients. Twenty of 29 patients with neurologic lesions improved after corpectomy. Eleven cases treated for a progressive, painful kyphosis averaged correction of 11.4° (26%), which was maintained on long-term follow-up. Complications were primarily pulmonary and/or genitourinary. Others included a pseudarthrosis, an early fractured strut, and a late allograft infection. On the basis of this review, it appears that spinal arthrodesis with anterior decompression and strut grafting is an effective method of treating anterior compressive syndromes of the spine and painful progressive kyphoses.

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