The treatment of thoracic and lumbar spine fractures: a study of 123 cases treated surgically in 101 patients.

S. Boriani, M. Palmisani, U. Donati, G. Tella, F. De Iure, S. Bandiera, G. Siccardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a total of 123 thoracolumbar traumatic lesions treated surgically in 101 patients over approximately 2 years (all monitored clinically and radiographically up to consolidation by follow-ups after from 6 to 26 months, mean 10 months) the technique used, complications and treatment are reported. The treatment procedure included: emergency surgery decompression, osteosynthesis, and fusion (posterior and possibly intersomatic); immediate recovery of function and loading; clinical and radiographic monitoring within 4-6 weeks, and possible anterior fusion in case of insufficient reconstruction of the anterior column. The complications observed out of 123 fractures were: collapse of the implant (4 cases), infection (5 cases), liquoral fistula (1 case), transitory paralysis of the abdominal muscles homolateral to the lombotomic incision (1 case), TVP (2 cases), bronchial pneumonia (2 cases), paralytic ileum (1 case). There was no sagittal deformity (secondary kyphosis) except for 5 cases of mechanical collapse that were resolved with a new operation. Neurologic deficit was caused by fracture in 49 patients (40% of the fractures or 48% of the patients). Six patients out of 30 affected with spinal cord lesion (20%) and 15 out of 19 affected with cone and/or cauda lesion (79%) improved. There was no progression of the neurologic findings after surgery. The authors conclude by proposing a protocol of posterior osteosynthesis for the use of a system in titanium made up of pedicle screws and hooks connected to a pair of cylindrical bars joined together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalLa Chirurgia degli organi di movimento
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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