Definitive single-stage posterior surgical correction of complete traumatic spondyloptosis at the thoracolumbar junction

J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Jun;22(6):653-7. doi: 10.3171/2014.10.SPINE14165. Epub 2015 Mar 20.


Complete dislocation at the thoracolumbar junction is a rare occurrence, with only 4 previously reported cases in 3 separate series. Surgical procedures in the reported cases of spondyloptosis at the thoracolumbar junction have been described using instrumentation, reduction, decompression, and stabilization techniques. In this report the authors' patient presented with spondyloptosis at the thoracolumbar junction, resulting in a T-11 American Spinal Injury Association Grade A injury. The authors corrected the patient's thoracolumbar spondyloptosis with surgical reconstruction without the use of leveraged instrumented reduction. They describe a single-stage, posterior-only spinal realignment, reconstruction, and stabilization. Within months of beginning postoperative therapy, the patient enrolled and attended courses at a local college and regained personal independence by learning to drive a motor vehicle with a hand control. Two-year radiographic and clinical follow-up confirms solid fusion across the reconstruction.

Keywords: ASIA = American Spinal Injury Association; SCI = spinal cord injury; long-segment thoracolumbar instrumentation; thoracolumbar junction reconstruction; trauma; traumatic spinal cord injury; traumatic spondyloptosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical / methods
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Male
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods
  • Spondylolisthesis / diagnosis
  • Spondylolisthesis / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult