alexa Universal Clamp system in thoracolumbar spinal fixation: technical note.


Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity

Author(s): Gazzeri R, Faiola A, Galarza M, Tamorri M

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Abstract BACKGROUND: The Universal Clamp is a polyester band passed under the lamina and connected to a rod by a titanium clamp that has been recently reported as an alternative for replacing screws and hooks for thoracolumbar spinal diseases. To date, there is no report of an evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of posterior fixation and fusion using this technique. METHODS: This study was a prospective evaluation of a cohort of 18 patients with thoracolumbar disorders that were surgically treated between November 2006 and June 2007 with Universal Clamps for spinal fixation. Fifteen cases were traumatic fractures with others two with degenerative severe stenosis and one kyphotic stenosis. Levels treated were thoracolumbar in 15 cases, thoracic in two cases, and lumbar in one case. Seventeen patients underwent correction and instrumentation using a hybrid construct of screws and clamps, while one patient underwent fixation using Universal Clamps only. Intraoperative evoked potentials were monitored in all cases. One patient had infection that resolved after antibiotic therapy without implant removal. No neurological adverse event was seen. There was no rod breakage or clamp loosening during a follow-up of 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: The polyester band is soft and flexible, and the anterior-posterior spinal canal space occupied by the band is less than by sublaminar wire steel cable, thus avoiding direct spinal cord trauma during sublaminar passage. The flat configuration of the cable distributes the load over a larger contact area under the lamina compared to metal wires without producing imaging artefacts in postoperative imaging. This preliminary report demonstrates the efficacy and safety of this technique for the stabilization of thoracolumbar spinal disorders. This article was published in Acta Neurochir (Wien) and referenced in Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity

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