Traumatic thoracolumbar (TL) fractures are the most common vertebral fractures. Although a consensus on the preferred treatment is missing, percutaneous pedicle screw fixation (PPSF) has been progressively accepted as treatment option, since it is related to lower soft tissues surgical-injury and perioperative complications rate. This study aims to evaluate the long-term clinical-radiological outcomes after PPSF for TL fractures at a single tertiary Academic hospital.
This is a retrospective cohort study. Back pain was obtained at preoperative, postoperative and final follow-up using Visual Analog Scale. Patient-reported outcomes, the Oswestry Disability Index and the 36-Item Short Form, were obtained to asses disability during follow-up. Radiological measures included Cobb angle, mid-sagittal index, sagittal index (SI) and vertebral body height loss. A multivariate regression analysis on preoperative radiological features was performed to investigate independent risk factors for implant failure.
A total of 296 patients with 368 TL fractures met inclusion criteria. Mean follow-up was 124.3 months. The clinical and radiological parameters significantly improved from preoperative to last follow-up measurements. The multivariate analysis showed that Cobb angle (OR = 1.3, p < 0.001), SI (OR = 1.5, p < 0.001) and number of fractures (OR = 1.1, p = 0.05), were independent risk factors for implant failure. The overall complication rate was 5.1%, while the reoperation rate for implant failure was 3.4%.
In our case series, PPSF for TL injuries demonstrated good long-term clinical-radiological outcomes, along with low complication and reoperation rates. Accordingly, PPSF could be considered as a valuable treatment option for neurologically intact patients with TL fractures. Additionally, in this cohort, number of fractures ≥ 2, Cobb angle ≥ 15° and sagittal index ≥ 21° were independent risk factors for implant failure.
Burst fracture; Minimally invasive surgery; Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation; Posterior short-segment fixation; Thoracolumbar fracture.