Author(s): Cengiz SL, Kalkan E, Bayir A, Ilik K, Basefer A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Optimal timing of stabilization for spinal injuries is discussed controversially. The goal of this study is to investigate the neurological recovery and its influencing factors in thoracolumbar spine fractures after surgical decompression and stabilization within 8 h of spinal cord injury versus surgery which is performed between 3 and 15 days. METHODS: Twenty-seven patients undergoing thoracolumbar stabilization with neurological deficit for an acute thoracolumbar spinal injury at the level of Th8-L2 vertebra at Selcuk University between March 2004 and December 2006 were recorded. Patients with neurological deficit and medically stable for surgery underwent immediate stabilization within 8 h defined as group I (n = 12) and patients underwent operation in 3-15 days after thoracolumbar injury were defined as group II (n = 15). Patients were assessed for neurologic deficit and improvement as defined by the scoring system of American spinal injury association (ASIA). RESULTS: In spite of comparable demographic data, patients in group I had a significantly shorter overall hospital and intensive care unit stay and had lesser systemic complications such as pneumonia and also exhibited better neurological improvement than group II (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Early surgery may improve neurological recovery and decrease hospitalization time and also additional systemic complications in patients with thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries. Thus early stabilization of thoracolumbar spine fractures within 8 h after trauma appears to be favorable.
This article was published in Arch Orthop Trauma Surg
and referenced in Journal of Spine