NYMC Faculty Publications


Adult Trauma Patients With Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity Score of 4: A Systematic Review

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Student, Resident/Fellow, Faculty

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STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate characteristics of patients with thoracolumbar injury classification and severity (TLICS) score of 4 (To4) severity traumatic thoracolumbar injury. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The TLICS score is used to predict the need for operative versus nonoperative management in adult patients with traumatic thoracolumbar injury. Ambiguity exists in its application and score categorization. METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was performed. The databases of MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Review were queried. Studies included adults with traumatic thoracolumbar injury with assigned TLICS score and description of management strategy. RESULTS: A total of 16 studies met inclusion criteria representing 1911 adult patients with traumatic thoracolumbar injury. There were 503 (26.32%) patients with To4, of which 298 (59.24%) were operative. Studies focusing on the thoracolumbar junction and AO Type A fracture morphology had To4 patient incidences of 11.15% and 52.94%, respectively. Multiple studies describe better quality of life, pain scores, and radiographic outcomes in To4 who underwent operative treatment patients. CONCLUSION: To4 injuries are more commonly AO Type A and located in the thoracolumbar junction in adult patients with traumatic thoracolumbar injury. Despite ambiguous recommendations regarding treatment provided by TLICS, outcomes favor operative intervention in this subset of traumatic thoracolumbar injury patients.