Multiple parameters for evaluating posterior longitudinal ligaments in thoracolumbar burst fractures

  • Fei Chen
  • Tao ShiEmail author
  • Yang Li
  • Han Wang
  • Fei Luo
  • Tianyong Hou



The posterior longitudinal ligament plays a key role in spinal stability. The purpose of this study was to determine the injuries of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) in thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Patients and methods

Patients suffering a thoracolumbar burst fracture from January 2011 to December 2015 were divided into an intact group and a disrupted group according to the status of the PLL. Mid-sagittal canal diameter, width and height of bone fragments, inversion angle and horizontal rotation angle of bone fragments and local kyphosis angle were measured. Anterior, middle and posterior vertebrae compression ratio, mid-sagittal diameter compression ratio, ratio of height of bone fragments occupying the posterior wall of the injured vertebral body and ratio of the width of bone fragment occupying the transverse canal diameter were calculated.


A total of 95 patients were included in the study including 52 patients in the intact group and 43 patients in the disrupted group. There were significant differences on anterior and posterior vertebrae compression ratio, mid-sagittal diameter compression ratio, inversion angle and horizontal rotation angle of bone fragment (P  0.05) between the two groups. Injury of the PLL showed a positive correlation with the mid-sagittal diameter compression ratio and inversion angle of bone fragment (P  0.05).


The mid-sagittal diameter compression ratio and inversion angle of bone fragment can be used to assess the status of the PLL in thoracolumbar burst fractures. When the mid-sagittal diameter compression ratio was 52% and the inversion angle of the bone fragment was 33° the PLL was likely to be disrupted.


Retrospective study Computed tomography Kyphosis Spinal canal Constriction, pathologic 



Working Group on Osteosynthesis Questions


American Spinal Injury Association


Anterior vertebral body compression ratio


Computed tomography


Height of bone fragment


Horizontal rotation angle


Inversion angle


Magnetic resonance imaging


Mid-sagittal canal diameter


Motor vehicle accident


Posterior ligament complex


Posterior longitudinal ligament


Posterior vertebral body compression ratio


Transvers canal diameter


Width of bone fragment

Multiple Parameter zur Evaluation posteriorer longitudinaler Ligamente bei thorakolumbalen Berstungsfrakturen



Das posteriore longitudinale Ligament (PLL) spielt eine Schlüsselrolle in der Stabilität der Wirbelsäule. Zweck dieser Studie war es, die Verletzungen des posterioren longitudinalen Ligaments bei thorakolumbalen Berstungsfrakturen zu erfassen.

Patienten und Methoden

Patienten, die zwischen Januar 2011 und Dezember 2015 eine thorakolumbale Berstungsfraktur erlitten, wurden nach ihrem PLL-Status jeweils in eine Gruppe mit intaktem PLL (intakte Gruppe) und eine Gruppe mit rupturiertem PLL (rupturierte Gruppe) eingeteilt. Der Durchmesser des mittleren sagittalen Kanals, die Breite und Höhe der Knochenfragmente, der Inversionswinkel und der horizontale Rotationswinkel der Knochenfragmente sowie der lokale Kyphosewinkel wurden gemessen. Das Kompressionsverhältnis der anterioren, mittleren und posterioren Wirbel und des mittleren sagittalen Durchmessers sowie das Verhältnis der Knochenfragmente, welche die hintere Wand des verletzten Wirbelkörpers belegen, und das Verhältnis der Breite des Knochenfragments, das den transversen Kanaldurchmesser belegt, wurden berechnet.


Insgesamt 95 Patienten wurden in die Studie eingeschlossen, davon 52 Patienten in die intakte Gruppe und 43 Patienten in die rupturierte Gruppe. Zwischen den Gruppen gab es signifikante Unterschiede im Kompressionsverhältnis der anterioren und posterioren Wirbel und des mittleren sagittalen Durchmessers sowie bezüglich des Inversionswinkels und des horizontalen Rotationswinkels des Knochenfragments (p  0,05). Die Verletzung des PLL korrelierte positiv mit dem Kompressionsverhältnis des mittleren sagittalen Durchmessers sowie dem Inversionswinkel des Knochenfragments (p  0,05).


Das Kompressionsverhältnis des mittleren sagittalen Durchmessers und des Inversionswinkels des Knochenfragments kann zur Beurteilung des PLL-Status bei thorakolumbalen Berstungsfrakturen verwendet werden. Bei einem Kompressionsverhältnis von 52 % und einem Inversionswinkel des Knochenfragments von 33° war eine Ruptur des PLL wahrscheinlich.


Retrospektive Studie Computertomographie Kyphose Wirbelkanal Pathologische Konstriktion 


Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

F. Chen, T. Shi, Y. Li, H. Wang, F. Luo and T. Hou declare that they have no competing interests.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. For images or other information within the manuscript which could identify patients, informed consent was obtained from them and/or the legal guardians.


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Chen
    • 1
  • Tao Shi
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yang Li
    • 2
  • Han Wang
    • 2
  • Fei Luo
    • 3
  • Tianyong Hou
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsBozhou District People’s HospitalZunyi CityChina
  2. 2.Center for Orthopedics and TraumaTheThird Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicsSouthwest Hospital, Third Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina

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