Dual, Minimally Invasive Fixation in Acute, Double, Thoracic Spine Fracture
25 January 2012 (online)
We report on a dual percutaneous fixation in 2 patients with a double thoracic spine fracture. The advantages and limitations of this new approach for treating traumatic spinal fractures are reviewed.
A 67-year-old male was admitted following a fall from a height of 3 m. A neurological examination revealed sub-T11 motor and sensory paraparesis. There were a T6 vertical body and bi-articular fracture and a T11 vertebral burst fracture with > 75% posterior wall damage. A 40-year-old male was admitted after a suicide attempt. A neurological examination revealed sub-T11 paraplegia. There were a T7 vertebral body fracture with intact posterior wall and a T11 burst fracture with > 75% posterior wall damage.
The same technique was used in both cases. 2 minimally invasive percutaneous fixations of the 2 fractures were performed. In a third step, we performed a T10-T12 open laminectomy. This technique helped to limit blood loss and avoid an over-long fixation. Pedicle screw targeting was optimal. 16 months later, the neurological status was normal in patient 1 and there was neurological improvement in patient 2. No secondary segmental kyphotic deformities appeared.
Percutaneous fixation enables the treatment of an acute thoracic spine fracture. With appropriate presurgical planning, this technique can be applied to all thoracic vertebrae. Spinal cord injuries justify the use of laminectomy together with percutaneous fixation, in order to limit erector muscle injury and blood loss.