The authors' goal in this paper was to quantify reference data on the dimensions and relationships of the maximum posterior screw angle and the thoracic spinal canal in different pediatric age groups.
One hundred twelve pediatric patients were divided into 4 age groups, and their thoracic vertebrae were studied on CT scans. The width, depth, and maximum posterior screw angles with different screw entrance points were measured on a Philips Brilliance 16 CT. The statistical analysis was performed using the Student t-test and Pearson's correlation analysis.
The width and depth of the thoracic vertebrae increased from T-5 to T-12. The width ranged from 18.5 to 37.1 mm, while the depth ranged from 16.1 to 28.2 mm. The maximum posterior screw angle decreased from T-5 to T-12 in all groups. The ranges and mean angles at the entrance points were as follows: initial entrance point, 6.9° to 12.3° with a mean angle of 9.1°; second entrance point, 20.6° to 27.0° with a mean angle of 24.2°; and third entrance point, 29.2° to 37.5° with a mean angle of 33.7°. There were no significant age-related differences noted for the maximum posterior screw angles.
The angle decreased from T-5 to T-12. No significant age-related differences were noted in the maximum posterior screw angles. Screws should be placed between the initial and second points and parallel to the coronal section or at a slight anterior orientation.