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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-56

Is cast an option in the treatment of thoracolumbar vertebral fractures?

1 Department of Orthopaedic and Traumatology, Orthopaedic and Trauma Centre, Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
2 Orthopaedic and Trauma Centre, Spine Surgery Unit, Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alessandro Rava
Department of Orthopaedic and Traumatology, Orthopaedic and Trauma Centre, Cittą della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, University of Turin, Via Zuretti 29, 10121, Turin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_8_19

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Background: Thoracolumbar vertebral fractures are common in high-energy trauma and often are associated to other concomitant injuries. Currently, brace and Closed Reduction and Casting (CRC) are the two conservative treatments proposed by literature. Despite CRC was widely used in the past, today brace is preferred. The aim of our study is to evaluate clinical and radiographic outcomes of thoracolumbar type A fractures, not associated with other injuries, treated with CRC. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all patients treated from 2008 to 2015, with a mean age of 26.69 years (range 15–45). All patients were affected by AO type A fracture: 26 type A1, 17 type A2, and 21 type A3. All patients were evaluated by X-ray, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Radiological evaluations included vertebral kyphosis (VK), segmental kyphosis (SK), regional kyphosis (RK) angle, and vertebral ratio (VR) measures. Patients were clinically assessed through visual analog scale, Oswestry Disability Index, Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire, and Short Form 36 Health Survey. Results: Seventy-four patients (41 males and 33 females) were included in the study. At follow-up (mean 28.48 months ± 5.16), we found significant improvements in VK (P = 0.000013), SK (P = 0.000455), and RK (P = 0.000016). No significant differences were observed in VR (P = 0.26). Good clinical results were reported in patients in all scores and 90.7% of patients returned to work. Conclusions: Closed reduction and casting is still a reliable treatment option in selected thoracolumbar fractures without spinal cord involvement. A correct fracture evaluation, patient compliance, and motivation are essentials. Level of evidence: IV.

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