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J Clin Neurosci. 2019 Feb;60:117-123. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2018.10.047. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Clinical outcomes of posterior thoracic cage interbody fusion (PTCIF) to treat trauma and degenerative disease of the thoracic and thoracolumbar junctional spine.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neurological Surgery, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neurological Surgery, Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-Do, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neurological Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Laminectomy followed by posterolateral fusion (PLF) is a standard procedure for thoracic and thoracolumbar (TL) compressive lesions. However, it is challenging to apply sufficient bone chips as the spinal cord is exposed after the laminectomy. Therefore, we performed posterior thoracic cage interbody fusion (PTCIF) as an alternative technique. A total of 25 patients operated with PTCIF technique between 2012 and 2017 were analyzed in our study. These patients required a posterior decompression and fusion in thoracic and TL spine for traumatic injury or degenerative disease. To evaluate the outcome of bone fusion, computed tomography (CT) was performed at least 3-4 months after PTCIF. The surgery was performed through insertion of screws and cages packed with autologous bone chips in a similar fashion to the posterior lumbar interbody fusion technique. Among 25 patients who underwent PTCIF, 22 patients were involved in our study. The mean age and follow-up interval were 58.6 (28-78) years and 27.1 (6-60) months, respectively. Traumatic spinal injury was diagnosed in 6 patients and degenerative disease in 16 patients. One level PTCIF was performed in 12 patients and 2 levels in 8 patients. After the operation, patients with degenerative disease showed neurological improvement, and trauma cases showed no neurological aggravation. Successful bone fusion was confirmed on CT for all patients. PTCIF is an effective treatment thereby we suggest this approach to be considered as an alternative procedure to decompression and fusion surgery in the thoracic and TL spine.


Bone fusion; Degenerative disease; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion; Posterior thoracic cage interbody fusion; Posterolateral fusion; Thoracic; Thoracolumbar

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