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SYMPOSIUM - SPINAL TRAUMA
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-93

Is there a role for anterior augmentation in thoracolumbar burst fractures?


Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alexander R Vaccaro
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, 925 Chestnut Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/isj.isj_10_18

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Both anterior and posterior approaches for thoracolumbar burst fractures are reasonable surgical options. While an anterior approach was previously considered to be the best method to achieve adequate decompression and stabilization, posterior pedicle screw constructs have gained wide acceptance owing to their biomechanical strength and ability to achieve and maintain indirect decompression. We performed a literature review to analyze biomechanical factors and alignment, canal decompression with neurologic outcomes, and perioperative factors related to anterior and posterior approaches. A review of the literature reveals that anterior reconstruction does appear to provide improved resistance to kyphosis compared to posterior stabilization. However, long-segment fixation and the use of fracture-level pedicle screws have demonstrated improved ability to prevent the loss of intraoperative deformity correction. Neither anterior nor posterior approaches have definitively demonstrated superior canal decompression and neurologic outcomes. Perioperative data likely favor a posterior approach regarding the operative time and blood loss. In the end, the data do not obviously favor a single approach, and surgeons should take into consideration the goals of surgery and their comfort performing surgery through either an anterior or posterior approach.


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