Junxin Zhang, Hao Liu, Hui Liu, Angela Carley Chen, Fan He, Feng Zhou, Huilin Yang, Tao Liu

March 2019, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 502 - 510 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5822-7

First Online: 17 November 2018


To compare intermediate screws (IS) with kyphoplasty (KP) in posterior short-segment fixation (PSSF) for patients with single-level thoracolumbar burst fractures.


Between 2010 and 2016, 1465 patients were retrospectively reviewed; 48 patients were enrolled with a minimal follow-up of 2 years. Perioperative and functional outcomes were compared. The regional Cobb angle (CA) was included in radiographic analysis. Implant failures or CA correction loss over 10° were regarded as surgical failures. Multiple linear regression was performed to investigate the risk factors of kyphosis recurrence.


Fluoroscopic time (23.7 ± 3.6 vs. 79.3 ± 12.1 s, p < 0.001), operative time (109.6 ± 13.1 vs. 123.8 ± 19.0 min, p = 0.006) and blood loss (104.6 ± 34.9 vs. 129.1 ± 21.7 ml, p = 0.005) were all lower in the IS group. The KP group had lower Visual Analogue Scale scores (3.3 ± 0.9 vs. 2.7 ± 0.8, p = 0.028) and greater anterior body height (ABH) (30.3 ± 9.0 vs. 36.3 ± 11.0%, p = 0.044) after surgery, and less correction loss (5.6 ± 2.7 vs. 0.4 ± 1.2%, p < 0.001). Both groups had a CA correction loss of 4° with a 10% failure rate. The A3 Magerl subclassification, smaller preoperative ABH and smaller postoperative CA had positive correlations with CA correction loss.


PSSF with KP provides better back pain relief, greater ABH reduction and less correction loss, while IS has the advantages of less operative time, fluoroscopic time and blood loss. Magerl subclassification of burst fracture is a potential predictor for recurrent kyphosis. Reducing fractured vertebral body height rather than segmental curvature may be more important in PSSF.

Study design

Retrospective, non-randomized controlled study.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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