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Neurologic recovery according to the spinal fracture patterns by Denis classification.

PURPOSE: Although Denis classification is considered as one of most clinically useful schemes for the evaluation of spinal fracture, there is little documentation on the relationship between fracture pattern and the neurologic recovery. The purpose is to evaluate the correlation between the fracture patterns according to Denis classification and neurologic recovery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The 38 patients (26 men and 12 women) in this series had an average follow-up of 47.1 months, and they were all managed surgically. Denis classification had been used prospectively to determine the fracture morphology. Frankel Scale and American Spinal Injury Association Spinal Cord Injury Assessment Form [American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) score] were obtained before surgery, after surgery and at the final follow-up.

RESULTS: The common injuries making neurologic deterioration were burst fracture and fracture-dislocation. The degree of neurologic deficits seen first and at the final follow-up was more severe in fracture-dislocation than burst fracture. The neurologic recovery was not different between burst fracture and fracture-dislocation, assessed by Frankel grading and ASIA scoring system. The neurologic recovery evaluated by ASIA score was not different between the lumbar and thoracic spinal fracture. The neurologic recovery assessed by Frankel grade was greater in the lumbar spinal fractures in than the thoracic spinal fractures.

CONCLUSION: The severity of initial and the final follow-up neurologic deficits were correlated with the fracture patterns according to Denis classification, but the neurologic recovery was not correlated.

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