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Abstract
Study Design. Retrospective descriptive study of an innovative surgical technique for thoracolumbar fracture patients.Objective. To describe the transthecal approach for thoracolumbar fracture patients and demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.Summary of Background Data. The goals of surgery in patients with thoracolumbar fracture include neural decompression, reestablishing stability, reduction of deformity, and repair of dural laceration and the damaged neural elements. The traditional posterior approach may only accomplish the former three goals.Methods. Simply opening the dura during the traditional posterior approach enables accomplishment of all the aforementioned goals, which would not be possible through an anterior or posterior approach alone.Results. We have successfully performed the transthecal approach in 5 patients with thoracolumbar burst fracture with cauda equina fiber injury. Neural decompression, reestablishing stability, reduction of deformity, and repair of dural laceration and the damaged cauda equina fiber were all achieved in these patients. No complications were noted.Conclusion. The transthecal approach can be applied to patients with thoracolumbar burst fracture to achieve neural decompression, reestablishing stability, reduction of deformity, and repair of dural laceration and the damaged cauda equina fiber. This approach may be an alternative to combined (circumferential) surgery.
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Concepts
Anesthesia, Cauda equina, Surgery
MeSH headings
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