MAST Fusion Discussion: Spinal Trauma
Minimal Access Spinal Technology
This case demonstrates the application of minimally-invasive spinal fusion technology to spinal trauma for the stabilization of a fracture that otherwise would have required a more extensive operation in a patient with significant comorbidities or for whom otherwise prolonged best and immobilization were the only options, with the risks of the known complications of these actions present as a result.
Chance fractures are classically described as occurring after motor vehicle accidents with seatbelt injuries. The fractures, if through the bony elements, if undisplaced, may be managed in a brace, but most surgeons would suggest some form of short segment fixation with early mobilization (1,2).
This report described the application of MAST technology to facilitate spinal fusion for spinal trauma. In under 90 minutes, stabilization of an unstable fracture in a medically unwell patient was achieved. The use of this minimally-invasive technique offers home for the management of fractures in elderly patients as well as allowing for minimal blood loss and operative morbidity. Clearly, not all fractures are suitably managed through this technique but for those deemed medically inoperable or needed simple stabilization MAST fusion offers home of rapid mobilization with minimal risk.
1. Louis CA, Gauthier VY, Louis RP: Posterior approach with Louis plates for fractures of the thoracolumbar and lumbar spine with and without neurologic deficits. Spine 23: 2030-2039, 1998
2. Parker JW, Lane J, Karaikovic EE, et al: Successful short-segment instrumentation and fusion for thoracolumbar spine fractures. A Consecutive 4 ½ year series. Spine 25: 1157-1169, 2000