Document Detail

The impact of a standardized "spine damage-control" protocol for unstable thoracic and lumbar spine fractures in severely injured patients: a prospective cohort study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23354256     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In contrast to the established principles of "damage-control orthopedics" for temporary external fixation of long bone or pelvic fractures, the "ideal" timing and modality of fixation of unstable spine fractures in severely injured patients remains controversial.
METHODS: A prospective cohort study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a standardized "spine damage-control" (SDC) protocol for the acute management of unstable thoracic and lumbar spine fractures in severely injured patients. A total of 112 consecutive patients with unstable thoracic or lumbar spine fractures and Injury Severity Score (ISS) of greater than 15 were prospectively enrolled in this study from October 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011. Acute posterior spinal fixation within 24 hours was performed in 42 patients (SDC group), and 70 patients underwent definitive operative spine fixation in a delayed fashion ("delayed surgery"[DS] group). Both cohorts were prospectively analyzed for baseline demographics, length of operative time, amount of intraoperative blood loss, total hospital length of stay, number of ventilator-dependent days, and incidence of early postoperative complications.
RESULTS: The mean time to initial spine fixation was significantly decreased in the SDC group (8.9 [1.7] hours vs. 98.7 [22.4] hours, p < 0.01). The SDC cohort had a reduced mean length of operative time (2.4 [0.7] hours vs. 3.9 [1.3] hours), length of hospital stay (14.1 [2.9] days vs. 32.6 [7.8] days), and number of ventilator-dependent days (2.2 [1.5] days vs. 9.1 [2.4] days), compared with the DS group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the complication rate was decreased in the SDC group with regard to wound complications (2.4% vs. 7.1%), urinary tract infections (4.8% vs. 21.4%), pulmonary complications (14.3% vs. 25.7%), and pressure sores (2.4% vs. 8.6%), compared with the DS cohort (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: A standardized SDC protocol represents a safe and efficient treatment strategy for severely injured patients with associated unstable thoracic or lumbar fractures.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level III.
Philip F Stahel; Todd VanderHeiden; Michael A Flierl; Brittany Matava; David Gerhardt; Gene Bolles; Kathryn Beauchamp; Clay Cothren Burlew; Jeffrey L Johnson; Ernest E Moore
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of trauma and acute care surgery     Volume:  74     ISSN:  2163-0763     ISO Abbreviation:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-28     Completed Date:  2013-04-05     Revised Date:  2013-09-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101570622     Medline TA:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  590-6     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80204, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Clinical Protocols
Fracture Fixation / methods,  standards
Injury Severity Score
Length of Stay
Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries*
Postoperative Complications / etiology
Prospective Studies
Spinal Cord Injuries / prevention & control
Spinal Fractures / surgery,  therapy*
Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries*
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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