EUROPEAN SPINE JOURNAL, cilt.18, ss.1892-1897, 2009 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
Pedicle screw fixation is a challenging procedure in thoracic spine, as inadvertently misplaced screws have high risk of complications. The accuracy of pedicle screws is typically defined as the screws axis being fully contained within the cortices of the pedicle. One hundred and eighty-five thoracic pedicle screws in 19 patients that were drawn from a total of 1.797 screws in 148 scoliosis patients being suspicious of medial and lateral malpositioning were investigated, retrospectively. Screw containment and the rate of misplacement were determined by postoperative axial CT sections. Medial screw malposition was measured between medial pedicle wall and medial margin of the pedicle screw. The distance between lateral margin of the pedicle screw and lateral vertebral corpus was measured in lateral malpositions. A screw that violated medially greater than 2 mm, while lateral violation greater than 6 mm was rated as an "unacceptable screw". The malpositions were medial in 20 (10.8%) and lateral in 34 (18.3%) screws. Medially, nine screws were rated as acceptable. Of the 29 acceptable lateral misplacement, 13 showed significant risk; five to aorta, six to pleura, one to azygos vein and one to trachea. The acceptability of medial pedicle breach may change in each level with different canal width and a different amount of cord shift. In lateral acceptable malpositions, the aorta is always at a risk by concave-sided screws. This CT-based study demonstrated that T4-T9 concave segments have a smaller safe zone with respect to both cord-aorta injury in medial and lateral malpositions. In these segments, screws should be accurate and screw malposition is to be unacceptable.