Vertebroplasty-augmented short-segment posterior fixation of osteoporotic vertebral collapse with neurological deficit in the thoracolumbar spine: comparisons with posterior surgery without vertebroplasty and anterior surgery

Clinical article

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Object

The surgical approach and treatment of thoracolumbar osteoporotic vertebral collapse with neurological deficit have not been documented in detail. Anterior surgery provides good decompression and solid fusion, but the surgery-related risk is relatively higher than that associated with the posterior approach. In posterior surgery, the major problem after posterior correction and instrumentation is failure to support the anterior spinal column, leading to loss of correction of kyphosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of reinforcing short-segment posterior fixation with vertebroplasty and to compare the outcome with those of posterior surgery without vertebroplasty and anterior surgery, retrospectively.

Methods

The authors studied 83 patients who underwent surgical treatment for a single thoracolumbar osteoporotic vertebral collapse with neurological deficit. Twenty-eight patients treated by posterior surgery combined with vertebroplasty (Group A), 25 patients treated by posterior surgery without vertebroplasty (Group B), and 30 patients treated by anterior surgery (Group C) were followed up for a mean postoperative period of 4.4 years. Neurological outcome, visual analog scale pain score, and radiographic results were compared in the 3 groups.

Results

Postoperative (4–6 weeks) and follow-up neurological outcome and visual analog scale scores were not significantly different among the 3 groups. Postoperative kyphotic angle was significantly reduced in Group B compared with Group C (p = 0.007), whereas the kyphotic angle was not significantly different among the 3 groups at follow-up. The mean ± SD loss of correction at follow-up was 4.6° ± 4.5°, 8.6° ± 6.2°, and 4.5° ± 5.9° in Groups A, B, and C, respectively. The correction loss at follow-up in Group B was significantly higher compared with Groups A and C (p = 0.0171 and p = 0.0180, respectively).

Conclusions

The results suggest that additional reinforcement with vertebroplasty reduces the kyphotic loss and instrumentation failure, compared with patients without the reinforcement of vertebroplasty. Vertebroplasty-augmented short-segment fixation seems to offer immediate spinal stability in patients with thoracolumbar osteoporotic vertebral collapse; the effect seems equivalent to that of anterior reconstruction.

Abbreviations used in this paper: BMD = bone mineral density; CPC = calcium phosphate cement; HA = hydroxyapatite; PLF = posterolateral fusion; PMMA = polymethylmethacrylate; PS = pedicle screw; VAS = visual analog scale.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Kenzo Uchida, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Medicine, Fukui University Faculty of Medical Sciences, Matsuoka Shimoaizuki 23-3, Eiheiji, Fukui 910-1193, Japan. email: kuchida@u-fukui.ac.jp.
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