Long-term follow-up results of thoracolumbar fractures after posterior instrumentation

Erol Tasdemiroglu, Phillip A. Tibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This retrospective study examined the hospital records of 60 patients with thoracolumbar fractures treated with posterior fusion and spinal instrumentation. The mean follow-up period was 66 months. Objectives. The goal of this study was to evaluate and analyze the long-term outcome and socioeconomic conditions of patients who had sustained a thoracolumbar fracture. Summary of Background Data. In four patients, additional spinal injuries were detected. Three of the patients evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging showed cord contusion and edema. In six patients, ruptured disc fragments were detected by preoperative magnetic resonance imaging or during surgery. Methods. Long-term follow-up results in 60 patients with unstable thoracolumbar fractures treated with posterior fusion and spinal instrumentation were analyzed. Neurologic outcomes and independence in function and daily living activities were reviewed. Age, sex, mechanism of injury, associated injuries to the spinal cord, and associated injuries to the spinal cord and other systems were analyzed. Fractures were classified according to the system of Ferguson and Allen. Results. The patients with incomplete spinal cord injury showed significant functional improvement. During the follow-up period, 28 patients showed neurologic improvement. Postoperative complications occurred in 11 patients. Five patients required late rod removal because of rod dislocation. Conclusion. Regardless of neurologic recovery, most patients reported some disability, usually caused by pain. Inability to return to alternative jobs resulted from insufficiant educational background rather than neurologic dysfunction. Advanced academic achievement was the single most important predictive factor of ability to return to work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1704-1708
Number of pages5
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • Disability
  • Posterior fusion
  • Thoracolumbar fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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