A common method to restore the sagittal alignment and stabilize the spinal column is a dorso-ventral spondylodesis. It is assumed that correction loss after posttraumatic spondylodesis results from inadequate incorporation of the autologous iliac crest graft.
Materials and methods
Retrospective documentation of patients with unstable vertebral body fractures of the thoracic or lumbar spine with concomitant rupture of at least one adjacent intervertebral disk who received surgical treatment at our institution from 2000 to 2006. Followed by analysis of the computer tomography documentation of a total of 142 patients with unstable vertebral body fracture stabilized by posterior internal fixator and anterior iliac crest spondylodesis.
The following mean angle changes were derived from the second series of CT scans performed on average 283 days after anterior spondylodesis: vertebral wedge angle (VWA): 2.1°; segmental kyphotic angle: 4.9°; adjusted-SKA: 4.8°; sagittal index (SI): −0.04; segmental-scoliotic-angle (SSA): 0°; adjusted-SSA: 0°. Changes in VWA, both SKAs and SI postoperatively and prior to ME, were statistically significant (P<0.05). The McAfee fusion assessment of the graft showed: full fusion: cranial 64%, caudal 47%; partial fusion: cranial 20.5%, caudal 29%; lysis: cranial 8.5%, caudal 17%; graft resorption: 7%. No correlation was found between the above-mentioned angle changes and fusions grade.
The importance of radiological evidence of fusion deficiency is questionable, because the extent of fusion only has a minimal effect on correction loss.
Level of evidence
Level IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Spinal fusion, Spondylodesis, Bone graft, Correction loss