Journal List > J Korean Orthop Assoc > v.21(6) > 1120487

Kim, Park, and Lee: Conservative Treatment in Thoracolumbar Fracture and Fracture-Dislocations


The thoracolumbar fracture and fracture-dislocations are ever increasing today as the traffic accidents and industrial accidents frequently occur. But the controversy as to the relative values of early surgical instrumentation and conservative means has continued for well over a decade. The duration of this dispute without final resolution suggests an absence of significant differences in the results of surgical and non-surgical method. The purpose of this study is to review the results of conservative treament for 132 patients with thoracolumbar fracture and fracture-dislocations, who were admitted and treated at Yonsei University Severance Hospital from January, 1980 to December, 1984. And we obtained following results. l. In cases of stable fracture without neurologic deficit, especially when the wedging deformity of vertebral body is below 50%, it seems to be better to treat conservatively; that is, immediate postural reduction and after 2 or 3 weeks of bed rest, to start ambulation with back brace or cast. 2. In cases of stable fracture with neurologic deficit, operative treament is necessary when the frac-fragment is protruded into the spinal canal and neural compression sign is evident. But if not so, attempt to treat by conservative means may be done. 3. In cases of unstable fracture without neurologic deficit, it is more retional to treat conservatively by bed rest for a suffient time and then wearing back brace or cast. If the spinal deformity is so severe that it needs spinal fusion, the operation can be performed later on. 4. In cases of unstable fracture with neurologic deficit, spinal instrumentation and fusion do nothing to enhance neural recovery but are done to provide anatomic spinal alignment and stability to allow early the patient mobilization and rehabilitation.

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