Laboratory studies| Volume 22, ISSUE 5, P883-888, May 2015

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Vertebroplasty plus short segment pedicle screw fixation in a burst fracture model in cadaveric spines

Published:January 29, 2015DOI:


      The current project investigates the role of vertebroplasty in supplementing short segment (SS) posterior instrumentation, only one level above and below a fracture. In the treatment of thoracolumbar burst fractures, long segment (LS) posterior instrumentation two levels above and below the fracture level has been used. In our study, burst fractures were produced at L1 in eight fresh frozen human cadaveric spines. The spines were then tested in three conditions: 1) intact, 2) after LS (T11–L3), 3) SS (T12–L2) instrumentation with pedicle screws and rods, and 4) short segment instrumentation plus cement augmentation of the fracture level (SSC). LS instrumentation was found to significantly reduce the motion at the instrumented level (T12–L2) as well as the levels immediately adjacent in flexion, extension and lateral bending. Similarly, SSC augmentation was found to significantly reduce the motion compared to intact at T12–L2 but still maintained the adjacent level motion. However, SS instrumentation alone did not significantly reduce the motion at T12–L2 except for left lateral bending. While LS instrumentation remains the most stable construct, SS instrumentation augmented with vertebroplasty at the fracture level increases rigidity in flexion, extension and right lateral bending beyond SS instrumentation alone.


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