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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-9

Thoracolumbar spine trauma: Evaluation and surgical decision-making


1 Department of Neurology, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
Alpesh A Patel
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University, 676 N St. Clair St., Suite 1350, Chicago, Illinois 60611
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.121616

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Introduction: Thoracolumbar spine trauma is the most common site of spinal cord injury, with clinical and epidemiological importance. Materials and Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature review on the management and treatment of TLST. Results: Currently, computed tomography is frequently used as the primary diagnostic test in TLST, with magnetic resonance imaging used in addition to assess disc, ligamentous, and neurological injury. The Thoracolumbar Injury Classification System is a new injury severity score created to help the decision-making process between conservative versus surgical treatment. When decision for surgery is made, early procedures are feasible, safe, can improve outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. Surgical treatment is individualized based on the injury characteristics and surgeon's experience, as there is no evidence-based for the superiority of one technique over the other. Conclusions: The correct management of TLST involves multiple steps, such as a precise diagnosis, classification, and treatment. The TLICS can improve care and communication between spine surgeons, resulting in a more standardized treatment.


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