Corresponding Author

Hassanein, Mohamed

Subject Area


Document Type

Clinical Study


Background Data: Percutaneous screws fixation became popular as it depends on minimal muscle destruction and no para-spinal muscle stripping. However, there is a lot of disadvantages of percutaneous fixation technique including the high radiation exposure. Complications reported in conventional midline approach including muscle stripping from lamina and spinous processes and long-term postoperative pain and muscle weakness led the spine surgeon to rediscover minimally invasive technique to manage spinal fractures through posterior approach. One of these techniques is Wiltse technique which access the pedicle through blunt dissection between the longissimus muscle and multifidus muscle.Purpose: This study aims to compare pedicle screw fixation via Wiltse approach, and the traditional posterior midline approach outcome.Study Design: Prospective comparative study.Patients and Methods: A total of 36 patients of single-level thoracolumbar fractures without neurologic injury underwent pedicle screw fixation using two different approaches. Twenty patients were treated using conventional technique (Group 1 ), and 16 patients were operated using Wiltse technique (Group 2 ). Screw placement accuracy rate, operative time, blood loss, postoperative hospitalization time, radiation exposure time, postoperative improvement of Cobb angle for regional kyphosis, functional disability index using Oswestry Disability Index, and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of the two groups were compared.Results: There were no significant differences in the accuracy rate of pedicle screw placement, radiation exposure and Cobb angle improvement between the two groups. However, the Wiltse technique had obvious advantages over the conventional technique in operative time, blood loss, hospitalization time, ODI improvement and postoperative short-term improvement in VAS.Conclusion: Our data suggest that pedicle screw insertion using Wiltse technique for treatment of thoracolumbar fracture has the advantages of less tissue trauma, short operative and rehabilitative time on the premise of guaranteed accuracy rate and no significant increased radiation exposure. (2018ESJ160)


Thoracolumbar fracture, pedicle screw, Mini-Open, Wiltse technique, Minimally invasive, paraspinal approach