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SYMPOSIUM - SPINAL TRAUMA
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-85

Thoracolumbar fractures: Nonsurgical versus surgical treatment


Department of Spine Surgery, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gururaj Sangondimath
Department of Spine Surgery, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Sector C, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 070
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/isj.isj_22_18

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The thoracolumbar (TL) region is a common site of injury after high-energy trauma which can result in significant disability. Despite advances, controversies continue to exist regarding the management of the injury and indications for surgery. This review is aimed to provide an insight into the existing literature on the nonoperative and operative management of TL trauma. Many classifications of spinal fractures have been proposed to guide management. However, there are no high-level studies comparing the outcomes of surgical and conservative management using these classification systems. These classifications have also not been validated by randomized clinical trials. In general, surgical stabilization is indicated for biomechanically unstable fractures such as flexion distraction injuries, unstable burst fractures, and fracture dislocations whereas simple compression fractures are treated conservatively. There is conflicting evidence in trials comparing conservative and surgical management in TL burst fractures with intact neurology. Progressive neurological deficits, significant kyphosis, and significant canal compromise are generally accepted indications for surgery without proper Level 1 or Level 2 evidence.


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