alexa The value of computed tomography in thoracolumbar fractures. An analysis of one hundred consecutive cases and a new classification.


Journal of Spine

Author(s): McAfee PC, Yuan HA, Fredrickson BE, Lubicky JP

Abstract Share this page

Abstract We studied 100 consecutive patients with potentially unstable fractures and fracture-dislocations by multiplane computed tomography. The mechanism of failure of the middle osteoligamentous complex of the spine (posterior longitudinal ligament, posterior part of the vertebral body, and posterior annulus fibrosus) was determined by three-dimensional analysis. Three modes of middle-column failure were used to classify the injuries: axial compression (seventy-three patients), axial distraction (fifteen patients), and translation within the transverse plane (twelve patients). Fifty of eighty-six patients who were evaluated in the acute phase of injury underwent operative stabilization, and the mechanism of middle-column disruption determined the type of instrumentation that was used. Compression and distraction injuries of the middle complex could be appropriately treated by Harrington distraction and compression instrumentation, respectively. However, in translational injuries (torn posterior longitudinal ligament) routine Harrington instrumentation was contraindicated due to the risk of overdistraction. Translational injuries were associated with the greatest degree of instability and often had complete ligament discontinuity at the level of the affected vertebrae. Patients with a translational injury had the most severe neural deficits (six of eleven patients studied acutely having a complete spinal cord lesion). Translational injuries of the middle column were treated by segmental spinal instrumentation to provide strong fixation with minimum risk of neural sequelae from passing sublaminar wires. Moreover, postoperative use of a cast over insensate skin was not required. Computed tomography was more sensitive than any other modality in the diagnosis of disruption of the posterior elements in unstable burst fractures, and computer-reconstructed sagittal images were accurate in evaluating the nature of facet-joint failure in distraction injuries. Computed tomography with metrizamide proved superior to either conventional tomography or myelography alone in localizing the site of neural canal compromise in acute thoracolumbar injuries. The mode of failure of the middle osteoligamentous complex as visualized by computed tomography determined the pattern of spinal injury, the severity of the neural deficit, the degree of instability, and the type of instrumentation required.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Am and referenced in Journal of Spine

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

  • 18th Global Neurologists Annual Meeting on Neurology and Neurosurgery
    Nov 13-15, 2017, Athens, Greece
  • 2nd International Conference on Pediatric Neurology  
    August 31-September 01, 2017 Prague, Czech Republic
  • 12th Global Neurologists Annual Meeting on Neurology and Neurosurgery
    November 16-18, 2017 Lisbon, Portugal

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version