The objective of this study is to compare short posterior fixation to long posterior fixation in thoracolumbar burst fractures.
Fifty-three patients were divided into Group I (n=24) treated with short instrumentation (one level above and one below the fracture) and into Group II (n=29) treated with long instrumentation (two or more levels above and below the fracture). The load sharing classification was used to stratify cases. The evaluation of the sagittal index was performed using the Cobb method.
In subgroups with load sharing classification ≤ 6, Group I had loss of correction of 4.2 degrees and a procedure failure in 14.3% of cases, Group II showed loss of correction of 5.4 degrees and failure in 21.7% of cases. In subgroups with load sharing classification ≥7, Group I had a loss of correction of 11.2 degrees and procedure failure in 70% of cases, and Group II showed a loss of correction of 9 degrees and failure of 46.7%. Group I had a tendency to worse outcomes, especially in the subgroup of patients with load sharing classification ≥7.
Despite the tendency for poorer results in the short fixation group in the cases with load sharing ≥7, in no sample was there statistically significant difference between the groups studied.