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Early Spinal Fusion is the Key to Success After Traumatic Kyphosis

Posted on: 05/24/2007
Kyphosis, a forward curvature of the spine can occur after vertebral fracture. If the fracture isn't treated properly or the bones don't heal for some reason, this deformity can become a problem.

In this study, surgeons compare the results of two different ways to fuse the spine after post-traumatic kyphosis. Both methods were done from the front of the spine (anterior approach). The first group was fused with a plate-screw fixation. The second group had a double rod-screw fixation.

The same surgical team did all the operations. Deformed or compressed vertebrae were taken out completely. Any bone fragments left from the fracture were also removed. All patients were followed for at least five years. Neurologic status was monitored and compared before and after the surgery.

Measures used to compare these two methods included the amount of spinal correction, pain levels, and neurologic symptoms. Social, physical, and work function were also measured.

The authors report that a solid fusion occurred in all patients. Patients in both groups had equal amounts of pain relief. Correction rates were the same between the two methods of fusion.

The surgeons also looked at the factors affecting the results. They found that patients had the best results when surgery was done sooner than later. And the less severe the kyphosis deformity, the better the results.

The authors conclude anterior fusion with either fixation system works equally well. The key is to do the surgery as quickly as possible after the trauma. The short-term results of this operation were good. All patients were able to maintain their correction even after five years.

. Teoman Benli, MD, et al. Minimum 5-Year Follow-up Surgical Results of Post-Traumatic Thoracic and Lumbar Kyphosis Treated with Anterior Instrumentation. In Spine. April 20, 2007. Vol. 32. No. 9. Pp. 986-994.

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