There are quite a few controversies on the surgical management of single-segment thoracic spinal tuberculosis with neurological deficits (STSTND). In this study, the clinical efficacy and feasibility of one-stage posterior-only transpedicular debridement, interbody fusion, and posterior instrumentation for treating STSTND in adults were retrospectively evaluated.
Thirty-four cases with STSTND underwent one-stage posterior-only transpedicular debridement, interbody fusion and posterior instrumentation at the same institution from January 2003 to January 2013. Follow-up time was 34.4 ± 10.2 months (range, 18-48 months), and kyphosis angle was 34.1 ± 12.3°. The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) classification of spinal cord injury was employed to evaluate neurological deficits, while visual analogue scale (VAS) was employed to assess the degree of pain. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were used to evaluate the activity of tuberculosis (TB).
All 34 patients with spinal tuberculosis (ST) were completely cured, and there was no recurrence of TB. Postoperative kyphosis angle was 8.2 ± 1.8°, and there was no significant loss of correction during the final follow-up. Solid fusion was achieved and pain was relieved in all cases. Neurological condition in all patients improved after surgery.
One-stage posterior-only transpedicular debridement, interbody fusion, and posterior fixation followed by chemotherapy seems to be adequate for obtaining satisfactory healing of single-segment thoracic spinal tuberculosis with neurological deficits. Careful patient selection is critical to the successful outcome with this technique.