Xiang-Yao Sun, Xi-Nuo Zhang, Yong Hai

April 2017, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1418 - 1431 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-016-4818-4

First Online: 18 October 2016


This study evaluated differences in outcome variables between percutaneous, traditional, and paraspinal posterior open approaches for traumatic thoracolumbar fractures without neurologic deficit.


A systematic review of PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase was performed. In this meta-analysis, we conducted online searches of PubMed, Cochrane, Embase using the search terms “thoracolumbar fractures”, “lumbar fractures”, ‘‘percutaneous’’, “minimally invasive”, ‘‘open”, “traditional”, “posterior”, “conventional”, “pedicle screw”, “sextant”, and “clinical trial”. The analysis was performed on individual patient data from all the studies that met the selection criteria. Clinical outcomes were expressed as risk difference for dichotomous outcomes and mean difference for continuous outcomes with 95 % confidence interval. Heterogeneity was assessed using the χ 2 test and I 2 statistics.


There were 4 randomized controlled trials and 14 observational articles included in this analysis. Percutaneous approach was associated with better ODI score, less Cobb angle correction, less Cobb angle correction loss, less postoperative VBA correction, and lower infection rate compared with open approach. Percutaneous approach was also associated with shorter operative duration, longer intraoperative fluoroscopy, less postoperative VAS, and postoperative VBH% in comparison with traditional open approach. No significant difference was found in Cobb angle correction, postoperative VBA, VBA correction loss, Postoperative VBH%, VBH correction loss, and pedicle screw misplacement between percutaneous approach and open approach. There was no significant difference in operative duration, intraoperative fluoroscopy, postoperative VAS, and postoperative VBH% between percutaneous approach and paraspianl approach.


The functional and the radiological outcome of percutaneous approach would be better than open approach in the long term. Although trans-muscular spatium approach belonged to open fixation methods, it was strictly defined as less invasive approach, which provided less injury to the paraspinal muscles and better reposition effect.

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