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Complications in surgical treatment of thoracolumbar injuries


The range of surgical methods for operative treatment of thoracolumbar injuries, with their different ways of approach, grafts and techniques, remains wide. The authors present sources of error and specific complications based on their own experience and on the results of a multicenter study of the Spine Study Group of the German Trauma Association (DGU). A systematic overview of possible mistakes and complications is first presented in anatomical order. A detailed analysis is then presented of the complications reported in a multicenter study, carried out prospectively between 1994 and 1996, on 682 patients operated for acute traumatic injuries of the thoracolumbar spine. In 101 cases (15%) at least one complication occurred intra- or postoperatively. In 41 patients (6%) a revision was performed, and in 60 patients (9%) complications without operative revision were observed. These complications were analysed according to the chosen method of initial treatment.

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Knop, C., Bastian, L., Lange, U. et al. Complications in surgical treatment of thoracolumbar injuries. Eur Spine J 11, 214–226 (2002).

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  • Spinal injuries Spinal fixation Surgical technique Complications