Surgical options for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures complicated with spinal deformity and neurologic deficit

Kalliopi Alpantaki, Michael Dohm, Panagiotis Korovessis, Alexander G. Hadjipavlou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: This paper describes surgical options for Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF) with acute flexible or chronic rigid kyphosis, and pseudarthrosis complicated with pain and neurologic deficit. Methods: This study has two components. a) A prospective clinical study of surgical treatment of 31 patients (age: 69 ± 11 years) with either acute flexible or progressive pseudarthrotic kyphosis manifested with severe pain or neurological deficit between 2010 and 2014. Eleven patients exhibited neurocompression (Frankel B, C, D). Surgery consisted in indirect reduction, kyphoplasty, and short posterior instrumentation in 28 patients and multilevel instrumentation in three. b) The second component involved a literature search of OVCF complicated with acute or painful chronic deformities and neurologic deficit, managed with open surgical approach. Results: Indirect reduction, kyphoplasty and short posterior stabilization can restore satisfactory anatomic alignment and neurological deficit. Multilevel instrumentation was used for rigid long kyphosis. Complications were related to a) screw pull out and junctional kyphosis (4 patients) one of the patients also developed anterior migration of cement, b) cement leakage (4 patients). L5 radiculopathy occurred in one patient. The others remained asymptomatic. The literature review concluded that corpectomy with anterior, posterior or combined instrumentations is indicated for burst fractures, or rigid kyphosis with neurocompression. Prompt decompression with anatomical alignment may restore paraplegia. Complications were germane to osteoporotic bone predisposing to hardware loosening or cut out and dislodgement of instrumentation. Discussion: Neurologic deficit associated with fractures or progressive pseudarthrotic kyphosis effectively may respond to indirect postural reduction, kyphoplasty and posterior percutaneous short segment transpedicle instrumentation. For burst fractures and rigid chronic kyphosis corpectomy reconstructed with cages and anterior, or posterior or combined instrumentations can restore and maintain normal anatomy. The following guidelines for optimal surgical instrumentation have been established: To prevent screw loosening and junctional kyphosis the instrumentation should not end within the kyphotic segment. Screws for anterior instrumentation should penetrate the contralateral cortex. Multiple site of fixation or combined anterior and posterior instrumentations dissipate stresses at any one site. Augmentation of transpedicle screw fixation with cement is a sound technical principle. Cement should inserted in a doughy state with minimal pressure to prevent cement complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Complications
  • Deformity
  • Kyphosis
  • Neurocompression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Surgical treatment


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