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A Journal on Neurosurgery

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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2017 August;61(4):365-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03417-2


language: English

Long-segment percutaneous screw fixation for thoraco-lumbar spine metastases: a single center’s experience

Fahed ZAIRI 1, Marie-Hélène VIELLIARD 2, Alkis BOURAS 1, Mélodie-Anne KARNOUB 1, Paulo MARINHO 1, Richard ASSAKER 1

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France; 2 Department of Rheumatology, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France


BACKGROUND: The management of spine metastases is an increasing concern for spine surgeons. Their treatment is mainly palliative with the goal to preserve or restore the patients’ quality of life. Many minimally invasive techniques have been introduced with the aim to reduce the morbidity associated with more traditional open approaches. We aimed to evaluate the efficiency of long segment percutaneous pedicle screw stabilization for the treatment of instability associated with symptomatic thoracolumbar spine metastases.
METHODS: In this prospective study, we included all patients who underwent the percutaneous placement of pedicle screws in our institution between January 2008 and June 2014, for the palliative treatment of a symptomatic thoracolumbar spine metastasis. All patients had a normal examination. Postoperative radiation therapy was planned within 2 weeks following the stabilization. A clinical and radiological follow-up were planned at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Pain was measured using VAS and functional status was assessed using the Frankel Grading system. CT scan was performed before discharge and at each office evaluation.
RESULTS: Forty-four patients have been included. There were 26 men and 18 women, with a mean age of 57.3 years (range 36-79 years). The mean operative time was 85 minutes (range 47-124 min), and the estimated blood loss was inferior to 100 mL in all cases. The mean length of hospital stay was 5.2 days (range 3-18 days). All patients underwent postoperative radiation therapy within 2 weeks. Pain was significantly improved from the early postoperative period (P<0.001). Visual Analogic Scale scores decreased from 6.3 (2-10) to 3.0 (0-6) at discharge. No patient worsened his neurological condition postoperatively. One patient required a revision surgery at 3 months due to an important tumor progression at the treated level. Radiological follow-up demonstrated no case of misplacement, hardware breakage or loosening.
CONCLUSIONS: As the treatment of spine metastases is largely palliative, minimally invasive techniques should be discussed first to limit the impact of surgery in critical patients. Long-segment percutaneous screw fixation followed by early radiation therapy, appears to be a safe and effective treatment option to ensure solid and durable stability, as well as a good local tumor control.

KEY WORDS: Bone screw - Joint instability - Neoplasm metastasis - Spine

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Publication History

Issue published online: May 29, 2017
Article first published online: October 6, 2015
Manuscript accepted: October 5, 2015
Manuscript revised: October 1, 2015
Manuscript received: July 11, 2015

Cite this article as

Zairi F, Vielliard MH, Bouras A, Karnoub MA, Marinho P, Assaker R. Long-segment percutaneous screw fixation for thoraco-lumbar spine metastases: a single center’s experience. J Neurosurg Sci 2017;61:365-70. DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03417-2

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