Aim: The posterior extension osteotomy leads to a lengthening of the anterior column, which is associated with neurological complications and the risk of injuring retroperitoneal structures. Especially in high-grade syndesmophytosis the results are dissatisfactory. In this study we report on the results of an alternative procedure named the transpedicular subtraction osteotomy.
Method: After resection of the posterior elements of the vertebra at the level of the osteotomy, a wedge of the vertebral body including the pedicles with posterior basis is resected followed by an instrumented closing wedge, which leads to relordosation. 12 patients were treated with this method and reexamined with a minimum follow-up of 2 years (2 - 6 years). The level of osteotomy ranged from T12 to L3.
Results: The mean segmental correction averaged 30.1 degrees (25 - 36 degrees ). The overall relordosation averaged 35.9 degrees and was related to additional correction in the adjacent segments. With this dissatisfactory a sufficient correction of spinal balance and visual axis was obtained. All patients were satisfied with the result of the operation and would undergo surgery again from a retrospective point of view.
Conclusion: With the transpedicular subtraction osteotomy fixed kyphotic deformities of the spine in patients with ankylosing spondylitis can be corrected produce safely. The level of osteotomy is discussed and should depend upon the apex of kyphosis.