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Simultaneous Posterior and Anterior Approaches With Posterior Vertebral Wall Preserved for Rigid Post-Traumatic Kyphosis in Thoracolumbar Spine

Wang, Qing, MD; Xiu, Peng, MD; Zhong, Dejun, MD; Wang, Gaoju, MD; Wang, Song, MD

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318255e353
Technique
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Study Design. A retrospective study.

Objective. To evaluate the radiological and clinical results of simultaneous surgery with preservation of the posterior vertebral wall for rigid post-traumatic kyphosis in the thoracolumbar spine.

Summary of Background Data. Management of rigid post-traumatic kyphosis has been a challenge for surgeons. Current widely used posterior osteotomy procedures have the disadvantages of significant invasiveness, spinal column shortening, and instrumentation-related complications.

Methods. From 2004 to 2009, 21 patients with rigid post-traumatic kyphosis in the thoracolumbar spine (T11–L2) were managed in our hospital. Average kyphotic angle was 45.2° ± 11.2° (range, 31°–67°). The surgical technique used was posterior and anterior circumferential release and anterior corpectomy with posterior vertebral wall preservation and short segmental instrumentation. Preoperative and postoperative kyphotic angle was measured to assess the degree of kyphosis correction and maintenance. Changes in low back pain were assessed by Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores.

Results. All patients were successfully managed with this procedure without major complications. Most patients (19 of 21) were instrumented with anterior-only fixation, while posterior interspinal wire was added in 2 patients with osteoporosis. The mean blood loss was 470 mL (range, 300–700 mL). Patients were followed for an average of 32 months (range, 6–70 mo) postoperatively. Back pain was relieved to some degree in all patients and the improvement in Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores was 76.9% ± 7.9. Average kyphotic angle was 6.0° ± 5.7° (range, −2 to 17) immediately after surgery and 7.2° ± 5.8° (range, −3 to 17) at final follow-up. Average of 1° of correction loss was documented and all patients obtained solid fusion uneventfully.

Conclusion. This technique is indicated for most patients with rigid post-traumatic kyphosis in the thoracolumbar spine and can yield satisfactory clinical results not only in terms of pain relief, kyphosis correction, vertebral height restoration, and spinal canal integrity preservation, but also in reducing the risk of excessive bleeding and spinal cord injury.

Management of rigid post-traumatic kyphosis has been a challenge for surgeons. The authors applied procedures of simultaneous posterior and anterior approaches with preservation of posterior vertebral wall to treat 21 patients with rigid post-traumatic kyphosis in the thoracolumbar spine. Satisfactory clinical results with less invasiveness and fewer complications were obtained.

From the Department of spinal surgery, affiliated hospital of Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou, China.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Qing Wang, MD, the Department of spinal surgery, affiliated hospital of Luzhou Medical College, No. 25 Taiping St., Luzhou 646000, China; E-mail: wqspine2004@163.com

Acknowledgment date: December 8, 2011. First revision date: February 20, 2012. Acceptance date: March 13, 2012.

The device(s)/drug(s) is/are FDA approved or approved by corresponding national agency for this indication.

No funds were received in support of this work.

No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.