Complication Avoidance: Thoracolumbar and Lumbar Burst Fractures

Robert F. Heary, Sussan Salas, Christopher M. Bono, Sanjeev Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Scopus citations


Although most thoracolumbar and lumbar fractures can be treated conservatively, many require surgery. Choosing an appropriate surgical option requires an in-depth understanding of various methods of decompression, stabilization, and fusion. Anterior surgery leads to the greatest degree of spinal canal decompression and offers the potential benefit of limiting the motion segments fused. These advantages come with the added time and morbidity of the surgical approach. Posterior surgery is more familiar to most surgeons and can be an effective approach to the management of these injuries. Its limitations must be recognized, however, to avoid complications, such as inadequate decompression, recurrent deformity, and construct failure. Although many of the principles are the same, the treatment of low lumbar burst fractures requires some additional consideration of the difficulty of approaching this region anteriorly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalNeurosurgery clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this