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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2003 February;54(1):29-38


language: English, Italian

Personal perception quality of life in 68 patients with traumatic thoraco-lumbar vertebral fractures treated with circumferential arthrodesis

Bruno A. 1, Muratore M. 2, Ciclamini D. M. 3, Pazzano S. 3, Chiavola M. 3

1 1st Orthopaedic Clinic CTO, CRF Maria Adelaide Hospital University of Turin, Turin, Italy 2 Orthopaedic and Traumatology Specialization School CTO, CRF Maria Adelaide Hospital, Turin, Italy 3 1st Orthopaedic Clinic University of Turin, Turin, Italy


Aim. In the last decade techniques in vertebral surgery have made great progress, especially in the treatment of spinal fractures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of circumferential arthrodesis surgical technique of vertebral stabilization in accordance with the patient’s point of view in terms of personal perception of one’s own health condition and quality of life.
Methods. The SF-36 Health Survey and the Oswestry low back pain disability questionnaire were supplied to 68 patients with spinal fracture, with or without neurological impairment, followed during a 5.5-year mean period after surgical treatment. A case-control comparative study was developed between the SF-36 health survey patient’s scores and the mean SF-36 scores of a representative sample of 2000 Italian people provided together with the SF-36 questionnaire.
Results. SF-36 scores in patients with neurological impairment were significantly inferior to those of the representative sample, while not neurological impaired patient’s scores were not significantly different from those of the representative sample in no one of each different health concepts explored by the short-form scales. The low back pain concerned disability was severe to crippled in neurological impaired patients, and minimal to moderate in patients without neurological impairment.
Conclusion. The surgical technique of vertebral stabilization with circumferential arthrodesis succeeds in bringing patients with not neurological spinal injuries back to a quality of life not significantly different from that of general sound population. Patients with neurological spinal injuries get a quality of life significantly inferior due to irreversibility of neurological damage.

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