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Print version ISSN 1130-1473


ARREGUI, R.; MARTINEZ-QUINONES, J.V.; ASO-ESCARIO, J.  and  ASO-VIZAN, J.. Vertebral reinforcement by means of kyphoplasty in the treatment of non-osteoporotic thoraco-lumbar fractures: Study of 40 cases and review of the literature. Neurocirugía [online]. 2008, vol.19, n.6, pp.537-550. ISSN 1130-1473.

Object. We present a series of patients with acute thoraco-lumbar fractures in whom we performed balloon vertebroplasty (kyphoplasty), either alone (percutaneous) or combined to posterior transpedicular fusion (open kyphoplasty). We emphasize the possibility of extending the use of kyphoplasty to non-osteoporotic vertebral fractures, and combining this method with traditional posterior fusion procedures. Methods. Between 2003 and 2005, 138 patients suffering from thoraco-lumbar acute fractures, were treated in our Department. 87 corresponded to one vertebral level fractures; 34 to two levels, and the remaining 17 patients had more than two vertebrae affected. 65 patients (47%) received conservative therapy (rest in bed, physiotherapy, and subsequent progressive mobilization with cast). The remaining ones (73 cases; 43%) were treated invasively, performing balloon vertebroplasty alone (n=25), or kyphoplasty associated to posterior fusion in 15 cases (11%). Different kinds of screw posterior fusions were performed in the remaninig pacients (n=33; 24%). The latter group was not included in the present study. In the conservatively treated group (CTG), seven patients (11%) had a bad outcome, showing a persistency of hyperintensity in MRI-T2 sequences of the vertebral body, suggesting local edema. Mean hospitalization rate was 29 days in CTG. None of the 40 patients treated with kyphoplasty alone or combined with fusion showed abnormalities in neurological examination. They were classified in two groups: "Group a": Kyphoplasty alone (n=25). Mean of sagital index in this group was 11º (range: 6º-15º). In 9 patients, vertebral body collapse exceeded 25%. Mean hospitalization rate was 14 days. "Group b": Kyphoplasty and posterior fusion techniques (n=15): Mean sagital index was 23º (range: 13º- 40º ). All the patients presented with a vertebral body collapse superior to 25%. All of them had posterior body wall involvement. This group was treated by surgery (decompression and fusion) and open vertebral body kyphoplasty. Mean hospitalization rate was 35 days. Clinical results of these 40 patients were measured by means of work status, restriction of physical activities and analgesic drug intake. Except for four patients of "Group b", 36 returned to their work. In 11 cases a slight reduction of physical activity was registered. Average "Group a" follow-up was 47 months (range: 10-72 months). A mean kyphosis correction of 5,3º (sagital index) was reached in this group. Average "Group b" follow-up was 26 months (range: 9-54). Mean kyphosis correction was 10,3º. As for complications, we registered three balloon disruptions and five leakages into the disc. Conclusions. Kyphoplasty could constitute an alternative and/or complementary treatment of traditional spinal stabilization-fusion procedures in non osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Therefore, it should be offered, when indicated, as a substantial possible part of the treatment, to the patients suffering from vertebral fractures. Additional advantages of combining kyphoplasty and posterior fusion are the possibility of reducing the number of fused levels (shorter instrumentations), and to perform a 360 degree stabilization-remodeling through a single posterior approach.

Keywords : Ballon vertebroplasty; Kyphoplasty; Thoraco-lumbar fractures.

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