Thoracic Spine Injury Specialists Flagstaff AZ
Northern Arizona Orthopaedics, LTD.
Insurance Plans Accepted: Blue CrossUnited Healthcare
Medicare Accepted: Yes
Workmens Comp Accepted: Yes
Accepts Uninsured Patients: Yes
Emergency Care: No
Primary Hospital: Flagstaff Medical Center
Residency Training: Northwestern University Medical Center Orthopaedic Surgery 1975
Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School, 1968
Member Organizations: ABOS AAOS AANA ArMA
Awards: Arizona Sports Medicine Doctor of the Year, 1982.
Languages Spoken: English,Spanish,Ukrainian,Polish
Medical School: Loma Linda Univ Sch Of Med, Loma Linda Ca 92350
Graduation Year: 1992
Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1967
Graduation Year: 2007
Accepting New Patients: Yes
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Surgical Treatment of Unstable Thoracic Spine Injuries
Severe injuries to the thoracic spine occur with some car accidents. These high-energy injuries cause significant trauma to the spine. Surgery is needed to restore the vertebrae to a stable position. A major goal of treatment is to foster as much neurologic recovery as possible. In some cases, preventing paralysis may not be possible.
It's not clear yet what kind of stabilization procedure is best for these traumatic spinal injuries. Rods placed alongside the spine have been used with disappointing results. Plates and screws along the posterior (back of the) vertebra give better correction.
In this study, screws were placed through the pedicles of the vertebrae. The pedicle is the area of the vertebra that is between the upper and lower spinal (facet) joints. Sometimes it is called the pars articularis.
The pedicle is stiffer than the vertebral body. It provides a place where the screws are less likely to pull out of the bone. Stainless steel screws were used because of their ability to resist fatigue failure while the bone graft healed. A large diameter screw 50 to 80 per cent the length of the vertebral body was selected.
Screws were placed in every pedicle on both sides of the vertebrae. The screws spanned from two to three segments above the area of injury to several segments below the lowest area of instability.
Using pedicle screws as anchors made it possible for the surgeon to distract, rotate, and place the broken and displaced vertebrae in proper alignment. Once the screws were in place, a rod to span the entire length of the surgical site helped unlock the overlapping facets.
The spinal deformity was reduced and maintained in 15 of the 18 patients treated with posterior-only pedicle screws. There were very few complications after the operation. This approach avoids doing an additional anterior or combined anterior/posterior fusion of the spine. Local bone graft is used to obtain a posterior-lateral fusion only.
Studies of th...