News Category: Thoracic Spine


Prospective Study and follow-up Comparing Operative with Nonoperative Treatment of a Patient with Neurologically Intact Thoracolumbar Burst Fracture

Contrasting opinions exist in terms of preferred or ideal management of burst fractures located at the thoracolumbar region without neurological deficit. In 2003, a prospective study was conducted comparing surgical and non-surgical outcomes for patients suffering from thoracolumbar burst fractures without neurologic deficit. Results demonstrated that there was no significant […]


Use of Orthosis (brace) or Not for Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures

Treatment for thoracolumbar burst fracture traditionally included surgery, bracing and long term bed rest. In recent years this treatment is changing because of the increased medical risks that go with long term bed rest. There has also been some interest in treating these injuries without surgery as well, again because […]


Motor Vehicle Collisions and Thoracic Disc Injury

TDHs (Thoracic disc herniations) have a variable presentations and can mimic other diseases and many are misdiagnosed because of this. A TDH is thought be relatively rare compared to cervical or lumbar herniation. A traumatic origin has been estimated in up to 25 per cent of TDHs. Whiplash injury has […]


Motor Vehicle Collisions and Thoracic Disc Injury

TDHs (Thoracic disc herniations) have a variable presentations and can mimic other diseases and many are misdiagnosed because of this. A TDH is thought be relatively rare compared to cervical or lumbar herniation. A traumatic origin has been estimated in up to 25 per cent of TDHs. Whiplash injury has […]


Surgeons in Greece Report on Efforts to Reduce Problems with Balloon Kyphoplasty

There are several ways to treat older adults who suffer pain, loss of height, and disability from osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. For some patients, pain relief and quality of life can be improved with conservative care. This may include physical therapy, rest, pain relieving medications, and sometimes a brace or […]


Technical and Metabolic Risk Factors Found in Vertebral Compression Fractures

Severe pain, loss of mobility and independence, disability, hospitalization, depression, and decreased quality of life are all possible consequences of vertebral compression fractures. Even with today’s improved treatment for this problem, one out of every five adults who experience a vertebral compression fracture will suffer another one within the next […]


Risk Factors for Vertebral Fractures After Vertebroplasty

Patients with osteoporosis are prone to compression fractures in the vertebrae (spinal bones). The front of a vertebra cracks under pressure, causing it to collapse in height. More than 700,000 such fractures occur every year in the United States. These fractures can be asymptomatic (no symptoms). But more often, they […]


Update on Scheuermanns Disease for Adults: What’s the Latest?

In this article, surgeons from the Combined Orthopaedics Residency Program at Harvard Medical School put together a review of the evaluation and management of Scheuermann’s kyphosis for adults. They included discussion of who is affected, cause of the disease, pathogenesis (what happens with this condition), and clinical presentation (signs and […]


A Review of Spinal Cord Injuries

In this review article, neurosurgeons from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia take a look at the diagnosis, treatment, and results of treatment for spinal cord injuries. They focus specifically on fractures and cord injury at the thoracolumbar area. The thoracic spine ends at T12 (the last thoracic vertebra). The […]


Guidelines for the Treatment of Spine Fractures Caused by Osteoporosis

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has just released Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for the treatment of symptomatic (painful) spinal compression fractures. A brief summary of these guidelines is presented. These guidelines are based on research, published studies, and the resulting evidence currently available. The AAOS points out that […]


Surgeons Compare Techniques for Kyphoplasty to Treat Vertebral Compression Fractures

Patients experiencing pain and loss disability from vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) may find relief with a procedure called balloon kyphoplasty. The procedure is designed to restore height of the fractured and collapsed vertebra (spinal bone). Compression fractures are the most common type of fracture affecting the spine. Multiple-level vertebral compression […]


Chances of Second Vertebral Fracture Increase with Steroid Use

Our senior adults are at risk for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) due to low bone density and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Other risk factors include advancing age, steroid use, tobacco use (smoking), sex (female), and thoracic kyphosis (forward curve of the mid-spine). Treatment is important in order to reduce pain, prevent […]


Early Intervention Advised For Vertebral Compression Fractures

There’s an expression among comedians that timing is everything. That same concept can be applied to many things including medical treatment for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). In this study, surgeons in Korea took a look at the use and timing of kyphoplasty for this type of fracture. Compression fractures are […]


Do the Benefits of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Outweigh the Risks?

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are a bad deal all the way around. They cause pain, disability, and even death. The patient can end up with a stooped posture, which then cuts down on their air flow and lung function. The pain keeps them on the couch, in the recliner, or […]


Back to the Drawing Board on Vertebral Compression Fractures

Efforts to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty have fallen flat for some patients. Both of these techniques involve injecting cement into the broken and collapsed vertebral body. But the cement oozes out and damages nearby blood vessels and nerves. The oozing cement can also form an […]


Another Look at Major Complications with Vertebroplasty

Just about the time a surgical procedure becomes fairly standard and accepted as an effective treatment approach to a problem, someone steps in and takes a look back to see if, indeed, all is well. In this case series (seven patients), major and minor complications of vertebroplasty for vertebral compression […]


Is a Back Brace Really Needed for a Burst Fracture of the Spine?

In this study, the use of a brace for thoracolumbar burst fractures is investigated. Do patients really need a back brace for this condition? If they do, what kind of brace works best? How long should they wear it? The first step in answering questions like these is to find […]


The Dowager’s Hump: What Is It? What Can Be Done About It?

The Dowager’s hump in medical terms is called hyperkyphosis. It is an increase in the forward curvature of the spine — usually in the lower cervical (neck) and upper thoracic areas. A visible hump appears along the back of the spine and the head juts forward and eventually down if […]


Identification and Treatment of Thoracic Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs with the spinal canal narrows to the point that it begins to press on the spinal nerves. This can cause pain and nerve problems, such as weakness in the area below the nerve level. When the stenosis happens in the cervical region (the neck and extreme upper […]