European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Supplement 6, pp 965–971 | Cite as

Complications in minimally invasive percutaneous fixation of thoracic and lumbar spine fractures and tumors

  • Alessandro Gasbarrini
  • Michele Cappuccio
  • Simone ColangeliEmail author
  • Maria Dolores Posadas
  • Riccardo Ghermandi
  • Luca Amendola
Original Article



We propose to evaluate the complication rate in minimally invasive stabilization (MIS) for spine fractures and tumors, as a common alternative to open fusion and conservative treatment.


From 2000 to 2010, 187 patients were treated by minimally invasive percutaneous fixation in 133 traumatic fractures and 54 primitive and/or secondary spine tumors. Complications were classified, according to the period of onset as intraoperative and postoperative, and according to the severity, as major and minor.


A total of 15 complications (8 %) were recorded: 5 intraoperative (3 %), 6 early postoperative (3 %) and 4 late postoperative (2 %); 6 were minor complications (3 %) and 9 were major complications (5 %).


Minimally invasive stabilization of selected spine pathologies appears to be a safe technique with low complication rate and high patient satisfaction. MIS reduces hospitalization and allows a fast functional recovery improving the quality of life.


Vertebral fracture Spine tumors Minimally invasive spine surgery Percutaneous stabilization Complications 



The authors thank Carlo Piovani for image storage and processing and Dr. Cristiana Griffoni for contribution in manuscript editing.

Conflict of interest

Nothing to declare for all authors.


  1. 1.
    Foley KT, Gupta SK (2001) Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine. Neurosurg Focus 10:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Palmisani M, Gasbarrini A, Brodano GB, De Iure F, Cappuccio M, Boriani L, Amendola L, Boriani S (2009) Minimally invasive percutaneous fixation in the treatment of thoracic and lumbar spine fractures. Eur Spine J 18(Suppl 1):71–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wild MH, Glees M, Plieschnegger C, Wenda K (2007) Five-year follow-up examination after purely minimally invasive posterior stabilization of thoracolumbar fractures: a comparison of minimally invasive percutaneously and conventionally open treated patients. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 127(5):335–343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Enneking WF (1986) A system of staging musculoskeletal neoplasms. Clin Orthop Relat Res 204:9–24PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boriani S, Weinstein JN, Biagini R (1997) Primary bone tumors of the spine. Terminology and surgical staging. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 22(9):1036–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gasbarrini A, Li H, Cappuccio M, Mirabile L, Paderni S, Terzi S, Boriani S (2010) Efficacy evaluation of a new treatment algorithm for spinal metastases. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 35(15):1466–1470Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Been HD, Poolman RW, Ubags LH (2004) Clinical outcome and radiographic results after surgical treatment of post-traumatic thoracolumbar kyphosis following simple type A fractures. Eur Spine J 13(2):101–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mumford J, Weinstein JN, Spratt KF, Goel VK (1993) Thoracolumbar burst fractures. The clinical efficacy and outcome of nonoperative management. Spine 18(8):955–970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Seybold EA, Sweeney CA, Fredrickson BE, Warhold LG, Bernini PM (1999) Functional outcome of low lumbar burst fractures. A multicenter review of operative and nonoperative treatment of L3–L5. Spine 24(20):2154–2161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shen WJ, Shen YS (1999) Nonsurgical treatment of three-column thoracolumbar junction burst fractures without neurologic deficit. Spine 24(4):412–415PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shen WJ, Liu TJ, Shen YS (2001) Nonoperative treatment versus posterior fixation for thoracolumbar junction burst fractures without neurologic deficit. Spine 26(9):1038–1045PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chow GH, Nelson BJ, Gebhard JS, Brugman JL, Brown CW, Donaldson DH (1996) Functional outcome of thoracolumbar burst fractures managed with hyperextension casting or bracing and early mobilization. Spine 21(18):2170–2175PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pape HC, Giannoudis P, Krettek C (2002) The timing of fracture treatment in polytrauma patients: relevance of damage control orthopedic surgery. Am J Surg 183(6):622–629PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Siebenga J, Leferink VJ, Segers MJ, Elzinga MJ, Bakker FC, Haarman HJ, Rommens PM, ten Duis HJ, Patka P (2006) Treatment of traumatic thoracolumbar spine fractures: a multicenter prospective randomized study of operative versus nonsurgical treatment. Spine 31(25):2881–2890PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tezer M, Erturer RE, Ozturk C, Ozturk I, Kuzgun U (2005) Conservative treatment of fractures of the thoracolumbar spine. Int Orthop 29(2):78–82PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tropiano P, Huang RC, Louis CA, Poitout DG, Louis RP (2003) Functional and radiographic outcome of thoracolumbar and lumbar burst fractures managed by closed orthopaedic reduction and casting. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 28(21):2459–2465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wood K, Buttermann G, Mehbod A, Garvey T, Jhanjee R, Sechriest V, Butterman G (2003) Operative compared with nonoperative treatment of a thoracolumbar burst fracture without neurological deficit. A prospective, randomized study. J Bone Joint Surg Am 85(5):773–781PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Verlaan JJ, Diekerhof CH, Buskens E et al (2004) Surgical treatment of traumatic fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine: a systematic review of the literature on techniques, complications, and outcome. Spine 29:803–814PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Knop C, Bastian L, Lange U, Oeser M, Zdichavsky M, Blauth M (2002) Complications in surgical treatment of thoracolumbar injuries. Eur Spine J 11(3):214–226PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nasser R, Yadla S, Maltenfort MG, Harrop JS, Anderson DG, Vaccaro AR, Sharan AD, Ratliff JK (2010) Complications in spine surgery. J Neurosurg Spine 13(2):144–157PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kawaguchi Y, Matsui H, Tsuji H (1994) Back muscle injury after posterior lumbar spine surgery. Part 1: histologic and histochemical analyses in rats. Spine 19:2590–2597PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Gasbarrini
    • 1
  • Michele Cappuccio
    • 2
  • Simone Colangeli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Dolores Posadas
    • 3
  • Riccardo Ghermandi
    • 1
  • Luca Amendola
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oncological and Degenerative Spine SurgeryRizzoli Orthopedics InstituteBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Spine SurgeryOspedale Maggiore “C.A.Pizzardi”BolognaItaly
  3. 3.Division Columna“Hospital de alta complejidad El Cruce” FcioVarelaArgentina

Personalised recommendations