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Olumide A. Danisa, Christopher I. Shaffrey, John A. Jane, Richard Whitehill, Gwo-Jaw Wang, Thomas A. Szabo, Carolyn A. Hansen, Mark E. Shaffrey, and Donald P. K. Chan

✓ The authors retrospectively studied 49 nonparaplegic patients who sustained acute unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. All patients underwent surgical treatment and were followed for an average of 27 months. All but one patient achieved solid radiographic fusion. Three treatment groups were studied: the first group of 16 patients underwent anterior decompression and fusion with instrumentation; the second group of 27 patients underwent posterior decompression and fusion; and the third group of six patients had combined anterior—posterior surgery. Prior to surgical intervention, these groups were compared and found to be similar in age, gender, level of injury, percentage of canal compromise, neurological function, and kyphosis. Patients treated with posterior surgery had a statistically significant diminution in operative time and blood loss and number of units transfused. There were no significant intergroup differences when considering postoperative kyphotic correction, neurological function, pain assessment, or the ability to return to work. Posterior surgery was found to be as effective as anterior or anterior—posterior surgery when treating unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. Posterior surgery, however, takes the least time, causes the least blood loss, and is the least expensive of the three procedures.

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Mark Lee, Hazel T. Rivera-Rosario, Matthew H. Kim, Gregory P. Bewley, Jane Wang, Zellman Warhaft, Bradley Stylman, Angela I. Park, Aoife MacMahon, Ashutosh Kacker, and Theodore H. Schwartz


The authors developed a negative-pressure, patient face-mounted antechamber and tested its efficacy as a tool for sequestering aerated particles and improving the safety of endonasal surgical procedures.


Antechamber prototyping was performed with 3D printing and silicone-elastomer molding. The lowest vacuum settings needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets (flow rate ≥ 0.38 m/sec) were determined using an anemometer. A cross-validation approach with two different techniques, optical particle sizing and high-speed videography/shadowgraphy, was used to identify the minimum pressures required to sequester aerosolized materials. At the minimum vacuum settings identified, physical parameters were quantified, including flow rate, antechamber pressure, and time to clearance.


The minimum tube pressures needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets were −1.0 and −14.5 mm Hg for the surgical chambers with (“closed face”) and without (“open face”) the silicone diaphragm covering the operative port, respectively. Optical particle sizing did not detect aerosol generation from surgical drilling at these vacuum settings; however, videography estimated higher thresholds required to contain aerosols, at −6 and −35 mm Hg. Simulation of surgical movement disrupted aerosol containment visualized by shadowgraphy in the open-faced but not the closed-faced version of the mask; however, the closed-face version of the mask required increased negative pressure (−15 mm Hg) to contain aerosols during surgical simulation.


Portable, negative-pressure surgical compartments can contain aerosols from surgical drilling with pressures attainable by standard hospital and clinic vacuums. Future studies are needed to carefully consider the reliability of different techniques for detecting aerosols.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010