The phenomenon and efficiency of ligamentotaxis after dorsal stabilization of thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Abstract:

:Thirty-six consecutive patients with burst fractures of the thoracolumbar spine and with a fractured posterior vertebral surface dislocated into the spinal canal without neurological symptoms were treated with the AO internal fixator. Computed tomography-aided planimetry of the spinal canal was undertaken preoperatively and within 1 week postoperatively to elucidate the effect of kyphosis correction and distraction on spinal canal widening (ligamentotaxis). The stenosis of the spinal canal area (SCA) was reduced from 29% preoperatively to 19% postoperatively (+10%) of the estimated original area, and the stenosis of the mid-sagittal diameter (MSD) reduced from 31 to 23% (+8%). The widening of the SCA was greater at the level of L1/L2 (+13%) than at L3/L4 (+6%). High preoperative canal compromise was associated with greater absolute spinal canal widening. Large trapezoid-shaped fragments resisted reduction by ligamentotaxis. Even though the effect of ligamentotaxis after operative treatment with the internal fixator was proven, a certain stenosis of the spinal canal remains in most cases. Especially for patients with fracture-related neurological symptoms, ligamentotaxis alone does not seem sufficient for the requested spinal decompression. Even an exact analysis of preoperative CT scans under consideration of the fracture level will not always allow an exact prognosis of the expected effect of ligamentotaxis.

authors

Mueller LA,Mueller LP,Schmidt R,Forst R,Rudig L

doi

10.1007/s00402-005-0065-6

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2006-08-01 00:00:00

pages

364-8

issue

6

eissn

0936-8051

issn

1434-3916

journal_volume

126

pub_type

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