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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-27

Reliability of the column theory to evaluate thoracolumbar spinal instability

Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Tarek Aly
Department of Orthopedics 48th, Sarwat Steet, Tanta-31111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10039-1004

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The concept of spinal instability is still evolving. Instability is mechanical terms means decreased stiffness of the functional spinal unit, increased mobility, or abnormal motion, and alterations in spinal mechanics place the neurological structures at risk. The column theory was used to evaluate the spinal instability. Aim: in this study, we try to correlate the column theory of the spine with the preoperative and postoperative clinical and radiological findings. Patients and methods: One hundred and twenty-two patients with unstable thoracolumbar or lumbar spine treated surgically were studied. The patients were classified according to their pathogenesis into three groups (trauma, 75 patients, tumor, 30 patients and infection, 17 patients, groups). All patients were also classified according to the three column theory. Detailed radiographic analysis of the vertebra (e) involved was done at admission, at mobilization, and at follow-up. Neurologic assessment was performed using modified Frankel grading scale. Results: The results of this study did not support the column theory for evaluation of spinal instability. Comparing each group separately does not reveal any significant relationship between the number of the columns involved and radiographic or neurologic findings either before or after surgery. Conclusion: Spine instability concept is still dilemma and evolving matter. More research is required for better understanding of the nature of the spine and its loading characters.

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