The Pedicle Screw Fixation With Vertebroplasty Augmentation in the Surgical Treatment of the Severe Osteoporotic Spines
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Study Design: Retrospective clinical study. Objective: To present the early clinical results of pedicle screw fixation augmented by vertebroplasty using polymethylmethacrylate in severely osteoporotic patients requiring spine surgery due to the neurologic deficit. Summary of Background Data: It is postulated that combining a formal vertebroplasty-that is, maximum filling of the trabecular space with polymethylmethacrylate-with pedicle screw placement in osteoporotic vertebrae could result in resistance to pullout forces significantly. Methods: Between the years 2003 and 2006, pedicle screw placement with vertebroplasty augmentation was performed in 49 patients who had severe osteoporosis and who required spine surgery due to neurologic deficit. Eleven patients with less than 2 years of follow-up and 2 patients who died from unrelated illness were excluded from the study. Thirty-six of 49 patients having minimum 2 years of follow-up were included. Cement augmentation was also performed in segments proximal and distal to instrumentation to prevent junctional segment fractures. Early and late postoperative complications were recorded during follow-up. Results: The mean postoperative follow-up was 37 (24 to 48) months. The average age of the patients was 66 (59 to 78) years. The instrumentation was performed meanly at 5 segments and vertebroplasty was performed averagely at 7 segments. All patients had the T-score value of less than -2.5 from the anteroposterior and lateral lumbar spine and hip views, so regarded as severe osteoporosis. In our study group, there were no extravasation and subsequent thermal neural injury. Four superficial wound infections have been observed and they responded well to local debridement and antibiotics. There were no proximal and distal junctional segment fractures during the follow-up course. Postoperatively, all patients with neurologic symptoms had complete relief of their nerve compression symptoms. Conclusions: In patients requiring spine surgery due to neurologic deficit and having no sufficient time for the medical treatment of severe osteoporosis, pedicle screw fixation with vertebroplasty augmentation and vertebroplasty in segments proximal and distal to the instrumented segments can be good alternative methods to provide well fixation and fusion while preventing proximal and distal junctional fractures. One should be careful about pulmonary cement embolism after such kind of procedures.