Treatment of Thoraco-Lumbar Fractures

  • Antonio A. Faundez
Part of the European Instructional Lectures book series (EICL, volume 10)


Thoraco-lumbar fractures (Th10-L2) in young adults are common and often associated with profound socio-economic consequences [20]. Most of these result from motor vehicle accidents and falls from heights, which involve high kinetic energy and affect mainly males. Very often, patients are polytraumatized and present with associated thoracic and/or abdominal injuries. Initial in-hospital management is carried out following the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines, where priority is given to stabilization of vital functions and only then to neurologic functions. The traumatized spine is assessed using standard radiologic imaging, as well as CT scan. MRI can provide valuable information about neural tissue and disco-ligamentous injuries. Specific treatment decisions will then rely on both intrinsic (e.g., fracture morphology, neurologic status, mechanical instability) and extrinsic factors (e.g., age, occupation, level of physical activity). The main goal of surgical treatment is to protect the neural tissue by mechanically stabilizing the spine and additionally decompressing the spinal canal if necessary. We present here an overview of current treatment options available to surgeons for the treatment of thoraco-lumbar fractures.


Spinal Cord Injury Calcium Phosphate Cement Burst Fracture Advance Trauma Life Support Cement Augmentation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© EFORT 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HUG - Hôpitaux Universitaires de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland

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