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Yeungnam Univ J Med > Volume 19(2); 2002 > Article
Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2002;19(2):73-91.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2002.
Thoracolumbar Spine Injury.
Myun Whan Ahn
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Yeungnam University, College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Method of management of the spine injury should be determined, based on the status of neurological injury as well as on the presence of traumatic instability. At the thoracic and lumbar spine, patterns of neurological injury are different from the cervical spine due to their neuro-anatomical characteristics. Especially, at the thoracolumbar junction, neurological injury patterns with their respective prognosis vary from the complete cord injury or conus medullaris syndrome to the cauda equina syndrome according to the injury level. The concept of Holdsworth's instability based on the posterior ligament complex theory has evolved into the current 3-column theory of Denis. Flexion-rotation injury and fracture-dislocation are well known to be unstable that surgical fixation is frequently needed for these injuries. However, there have been some controversies for the stability of burst fractures and their treatment, such as indirect or direct decompression and anterior or posterior approach. In this article, current concepts and management of traumatic instabilities at the thoracic and lumbar spine have been reviewed and summarized.
Key Words: Fracture, Thoracolumbar spine, Instability
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