Additional anterior plating enhances fusion in anteroposteriorly stabilized thoracolumbar fractures

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Introduction To prospectively evaluate the potential radiological and clinical effect of the additional application of an anterior plate in anteroposteriorly stabilized thoracolumbar fractures. Patients and methods 75 consecutive patients with unstable thoracolumbar fractures underwent posterior (internal fixator) and anterior stabilization (corpectomy cage with local autologous bone grafting). 40 (53.3%) patients received an additional anterior plate (Group A), while 35 (46.6%) (Group B) did not. Plain X-rays and CT-scans were obtained pre- and postoperatively, after 12 months and at the last follow-up (mean 32 months, range 22-72). Loss of reduction, cage subsidence to adjacent vertebrae, fusion rates and clinical results were evaluated. Results 66 (87%) patients (36 Group A; 30 Group B) were available for follow-up. Patients in both groups were comparable regarding age, gender, comorbidities, localization and classification of fracture. Average loss of reduction was 2.4 in Group A, and 3.1 in Group B (not significant). Cage subsidence did not differ significantly between both groups, too. However, after 12 months the rate of continuous osseous bridging between endplates was significantly higher in Group A (63% vs. 25%) (p < 0.05). After 32 months this difference was even higher (81% vs. 33%) (p < 0.001). The bony fusion mass was located beneath or around the anterior plate in 94% of patients. There was no significant difference in clinical outcome. Conclusions Additional anterior plating in anteroposteriorly stabilized thoracolumbar fractures leads to significant faster fusion but does neither influence reduction loss nor cage subsidence. The anterior plate serves as a pathway for bone growth and increases biomechanical stability, resulting in a higher fusion rate. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.




Schnake, K. J., Stavridis, S. I., Krampe, S., & Kandziora, F. (2014). Additional anterior plating enhances fusion in anteroposteriorly stabilized thoracolumbar fractures. Injury, 45(4), 792–798.

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