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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-214

Management and outcome analysis of pediatric unstable thoracolumbar spine injury: Large surgical series with literature review

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurosciences Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Guru Dutta Satyarthee
Department of Neurosurgery, Room No. 714, Neurosciences Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpn.JPN_174_16

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Pediatric thoracolumbar spine fractures are considered rare injuries with paucity of publication across the globe. Further, spine injuries in children are comparatively rarer, and pediatric spine differs from adults, both biomechanically and anatomically; so, adult spine management strategy cannot be applied to pediatric cases, and exact guidelines for management of pediatric spinal injury is lacking. The current study is undertaken to study epidemiology, surgical management, and outcome of pediatric dorsolumbar unstable spine injury. A total of 25 pediatric patients were analyzed retrospectively with thoracic, thoracolumbar junction and lumbar spine injuries, who were managed surgically at our institute since June 2008, formed the cohort of the present study. There were 19 males and six females with a mean age 14.8 years. Clinically, complete spinal cord injuries were observed in 11 (44%), and rest 14 had incomplete injury. Most common mode of injury was fall (76%) in contrast to the western countries and the thoracolumbar junction was the most common affected site. Among all patients who underwent surgical intervention, 68% cases had posterior decompression and pedicle screw fixation. Mean duration of hospital stay was 18 ± 31 days. The mean follow-up period was 13.83 ± 5.97 months. In incomplete neurological injury group, a total of 13 patients showed neurological improvement, out of which four cases improved by two Frankel grades, eight patients improved by at least 1 grade, and rest one by Grade 3 (Frankel Grade B to E). Neurological outcome was statistically significant in relation to the level of fracture (P - 0.03) and preoperative Frankel grade, however, other factors, for example, gender, mode of injury, type of fracture, various surgical approaches with instrumentation, and correction of kyphotic deformity were found to be statistically nonsignificant. Surgical management of unstable pediatric dorsolumbar spine is a safe and an effective procedure which can provide good neurological outcome. The current study is one of largest series of cases managed surgically in this part of the world.


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