Retrospective case series.
To study the feasibility, outcomes, and complications of transpedicular vertebrectomy (TPV), and reconstruction for metastatic lesions to the thoracic spine.
Summary of Background Data.
Metastatic lesions to the thoracic spine may need surgical treatment requiring anterior–posterior decompression/stabilization. Anterior reconstruction may be performed using poly methyl meth acrylate (PMMA) cement or cages. Use of cement has been reported to be associated with complications.
From 2008 to 2016, consecutive cases (single surgeon) undergoing TPV for thoracic spine metastasis (T2–12) were included. Demographic, surgical, and clinical data were collected through chart review. MRI, CT, positron emission tomography images were used to identify extent of disease, epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC), and degree of vertebral body collapse. Hall–Wellner confidence band was used for the survival curve.
Ninety six patients were studies with a median age 60 years. Most patients 56 (58%) presented with mechanical pain. 29% cases had lung metastasis. Single level TPV was performed in 73 patients (76%). Anterior reconstruction included PMMA in 78 patients (81.25%), and titanium cage in 18 patients (18.25%). Frankel grade improvement was seen in 16 cases (P = 0.013). ESCC improved by a median of 5.9 mm (P < 0.001). Kyphosis reduced by median of 7.5° (P < 0.001). VAS improved by median of seven (P < 0.001). Total 59 deaths were observed. The median survival time was estimated to be 6 months (95% CI: 5, 10). Surgical outcome and complication rates are similar between the two construct types. Correction of kyphosis was seen to be slightly better with the use of PMMA. Overall 29.16% cases developed complications (11.4% major). Two cases developed neurological deficit following epidural hematoma requiring surgery. One case had instrumentation failure from cement migration, needing revision.
The result of our study shows significantly improved clinical and radiological outcomes for TPV for thoracic metastatic lesions. We also discuss some important steps for use of PMMA to avoid complications.
Level of Evidence: 4