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Does Operative or Nonoperative Treatment Achieve Better Results in A3 and A4 Spinal Fractures Without Neurological Deficit?: Systematic Literature Review With Meta-Analysis.

TitleDoes Operative or Nonoperative Treatment Achieve Better Results in A3 and A4 Spinal Fractures Without Neurological Deficit?: Systematic Literature Review With Meta-Analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRometsch E, Spruit M, Härtl R, McGuire RAlton, Gallo-Kopf BSandra, Kalampoki V, Kandziora F
JournalGlobal Spine J
Volume7
Issue4
Pagination350-372
Date Published2017 Jun
ISSN2192-5682
Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic literature review with meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: Thoracolumbar (TL) fractures can be treated conservatively or surgically. Especially, the treatment strategy for incomplete and complete TL burst fractures (A3 and A4, AOSpine classification) in neurologically intact patients remains controversial. The aim of this work was to collate the clinical evidence on the respective treatment modalities.

METHODS: Searches were performed in PubMed and the Web of Science. Clinical and radiological outcome data were collected. For studies comparing operative with nonoperative treatment, the standardized mean differences (SMD) for disability and pain were calculated and methodological quality and risk of bias were assessed.

RESULTS: From 1929 initial matches, 12 were eligible. Four of these compared surgical with conservative treatment. A comparative analysis of radiological results was not possible due to a lack of uniform reporting. Differences in clinical outcomes at follow-up were small, both between studies and between treatment groups. The SMD was 0.00 (95% CI -0.072, 0.72) for disability and -0.05 (95% CI -0.91, 0.81) for pain. Methodological quality was high in most studies and no evidence of publication bias was revealed.

CONCLUSIONS: We did not find differences in disability or pain outcomes between operative and nonoperative treatment of A3 and A4 TL fractures in neurologically intact patients. Notwithstanding, the available scores have been developed and validated for degenerative diseases; thus, their suitability in trauma may be questionable. Specific and uniform outcome parameters need to be defined and enforced for the evaluation of TL trauma.

DOI10.1177/2192568217699202
Alternate JournalGlobal Spine J
PubMed ID28815163
PubMed Central IDPMC5546683