• Optimal patient positioning for ligamentotaxis during balloon kyphoplasty of the thoracolumbar and lumbar spine.

      Cawley, D T; Sexton, P; Murphy, T; McCabe, J P; Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Merlin Park Hospital, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland. derekcawley@hotmail.com (2011-06)
      Percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty aims to restore vertebral height, correct angular deformity and stabilize the spine in the setting of vertebral compression fractures. The patient is positioned prone with supports under the iliac crests and upper thorax to allow gravity to extend the spine. In the treatment of lumbar fractures, we evaluated patient positioning with the contribution of hip extension to increase anterior ligamentotaxis, thus facilitating restoration of vertebral height. Our positioning technique created a mean anterior height increase from 72% to 78% of the average height of the cranial and caudal vertebrae (p=0.037). Balloon inflation did not significantly further increase anterior or posterior vertebral height, or Cobb angle.