To explore the safety and effectiveness of polymethylmethacrylate-augmented screw fixation (PASF) in the treatment of elderly thoracolumbar tuberculosis combined with severe osteoporosis.
The clinical data of 20 elderly patients with thoracolumbar tuberculosis and severe osteoporosis who underwent PASF after anterior or posterior debridement and bone grafting and met the selection criteria between December 2012 and December 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. There were 8 males and 12 females with an average age of 68.5 years (range, 65-72 years). T value of bone mineral density was -4.2 to -3.6, with an average of -3.9. There were 12 cases of thoracic tuberculosis, 3 cases of thoracolumbar tuberculosis, and 5 cases of lumbar tuberculosis. The diseased segments involved T 3-L 4, including 11 cases of single-segment disease, 6 cases of double-segment disease, and 3 cases of multi-segment disease. The disease duration was 3-9 months, with an average of 6 months. The preoperative spinal nerve function of the patients was evaluated by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading. There were 2 cases of grade A, 5 cases of grade B, 6 cases of grade C, 4 cases of grade D, and 3 cases of grade E. Postoperative imaging examination was used to evaluate the bone graft fusion and paravertebral abscess absorption, and to measure the Cobb angle of the segment to evaluate the improvement of kyphosis. The levels of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were tested. The visual analogue scale (VAS) score, Oswestry disability index (ODI), and ASIA grading were used to evaluate the effectivreness before operation, at 1 month after operation, and at last follow-up. The clinical cure of tuberculosis was also evaluated.
All operation successfully completed. The operation time was 154-250 minutes, with an average of 202 minutes; the intraoperative blood loss was 368-656 mL, with an average of 512 mL. All 20 patients were followed up 18-42 months, with an average of 26.8 months. The postoperative pain and symptoms of tuberculosis in all patients relieved, and the paravertebral abscess was absorbed, reaching the cure standard for spinal tuberculosis. All bone grafts fusion achieved within 1 year after operation. Only 1 case had asymptomatic bone cement leakage into the paravertebral veins, and the remaining patients had no serious complications such as bone cement leakage in the spinal canal, pulmonary embolism, and neurovascular injury. At last follow-up, spinal cord nerve function significantly improved when compared with preoperative one. Among them, ASIA grading were 7 cases of grade C, 8 cases of grade D, and 5 cases of grade E, showing significant difference when compared with preoperative one (Z=2.139, P=0.000). VAS score, ODI score, segmental Cobb angle, ESR, and CRP at 1 month after operation and at last follow-up were significantly improved when compared with preoperative ones (P<0.05); there was no significant difference between 1 month after operation and last follow-up (P>0.05). During the follow-up, no complications such as failure of internal fixation, proximal junctional kyphosis, or tuberculosis recurrence occurred.
For elderly patients with thoracolumbar tuberculosis and severe osteoporosis, PASF treatment is safe and effective.