Anterior reconstruction versus posterior osteotomy in treating Kümmell's disease with neurological deficits: A systematic review

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2018 Jul;52(4):283-288. doi: 10.1016/j.aott.2018.05.002. Epub 2018 May 24.


Objective: This study aimed to conduct a systematic review of literature comparing the clinical effectiveness and safety between anterior reconstruction (AR) and posterior osteotomy (PO) in the treatment of Kümmell's disease with neurological deficits.

Methods: We systematically reviewed the literature in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Web of Science for "spin*," "surg*," "Kümmell's disease," "Kummell's disease," "Kummell disease," "vertebral osteonecrosis," "vertebral pseudarthrosis," "intravertebral vacuum cleft," "delayed vertebral collapse," and "compression fracture nonunion". Quality was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation method.

Results: A total of 10 publications involving 268 Kümmell's disease patients with neurological deficits were included in this review, with 7 studies of low- or very low-quality. There were 37.7% and 62.3% of patients receiving AR and PO, respectively. For clinical outcomes, AR group showed no significant differences in pain, neurological dysfunction, and imaging outcome improvements compared with patients who underwent PO. However, the incidence of implant-related complications including loose screw, screw fracture, screw disconnection, and plate dislodgment, was higher in AR group compared with PO group (21.6% vs. 14.3%). As another major complication, AR group more often required a second surgery.

Conclusion: This systematic review demonstrated that both AR and PO could improve pain, neurological dysfunction and imaging outcomes. However, serious comorbidities, multilevel corpectomies and/or severe osteoporosis highly required PO. Design discrepancies were found in the current studies, further higher-quality studies are warranted.

Level of evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.

Keywords: Anterior reconstruction; Kümmell's disease; Neurological deficits; Posterior osteotomy; Postoperative outcomes; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Screws
  • Fractures, Compression / surgery*
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Osteonecrosis / surgery*
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome