Clinical efficacy and therapeutic value of delayed surgery i
Treatment of old thoracolumbar fractures by posterior decompression reduction, bone grafting fusion, and internal fixation can relieve spinal cord compression and reduce pain in some patients.

The aim was to investigate the clinical efficacy and therapeutic value of posterior decompression reduction, bone grafting fusion, and internal fixation for treatment of symptomatic old thoracolumbar fractures.

Retrospective analysis was conducted for 14 patients with old thoracolumbar fractures who underwent posterior operation. American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scores were used to evaluate neurologic function. Vertebral body height, Cobb angle in the sagittal plane, spinal canal volume ratio (%) and bone graft fusion were analyzed by radiography and computed tomography on different follow-up times.

- Of three patients with ASIA grade A, 2 had improved postoperative urination and defecation, although no classification change.

- Preoperative ASIA score for eight patients with incomplete injury was grade B; four patients recovered to grade C at final follow-up.

- Preoperative ASIA score was C in three patients, increased to D in two patients and returned to normal E in one patient.

- Preoperative results showed average injured vertebra height loss rate decreased from 50.4 to 8.9%; average Cobb angle on the sagittal plane recovered from 39.6 to 6.9°; and the average spinal canal volume ratio recovered from 33.8 to 5.9%.

- Bony fusion was achieved; local lumbago and leg pain were relieved to some extent. No patients exhibited loosening of the fracture treated by internal fixation, pseudoarthrosis, or other related serious complications.

Treatment of old thoracolumbar fractures by posterior decompression reduction, bone grafting fusion, and internal fixation can relieve spinal cord compression, improve neurologic function of some patients (ASIA grades B–C), effectively relieve pain, correct deformity, restore biomechanical stability, and significantly improve quality of life.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12893-021-01240-0
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