Superiority of thoracolumbar injury classification and severity score (TLICS) over AOSpine thoracolumbar spine injury classification for the surgical management decision of traumatic spine injury in the pediatric population

Abstract

Purpose

Thoracolumbar fractures are the most common kind of spine injury in children. Several types of spine injury can occur, and for this reason, treatment algorithms have been put in place for the management of these patients. At present, the thoracolumbar injury classification and severity score system (TLICS) and the thoracolumbar AOSpine injury score (AOSpine score) aimed at providing treatment recommendations. We aimed to assess the reliability, in children, of the TLICS scoring and AOSpine scoring systems, and to define the superiority of one of the methods of scoring, to spread its use in routine clinical management in the pediatric spine trauma.

Methods

A retrospective chart review of consecutive children admitted to a Level 1 trauma center for traumatic thoracolumbar fractures, between 2006 and 2019, was performed. We compared the management we performed in clinical practice in children with spine trauma, to the decisional algorithms based on the TLICS and AOSpine scores. According to these scores, surgical treatment should be performed when the TLICS score ≥ 5 and the AOSpine score > 5; and surgical or conservative treatment was considered reasonable when the TLICS score = 4 and the AOSpine score = 4 or 5. Surgical indications were based on the clinical status, the anatomy of the fracture, and the risk of sagittal imbalance of the growing spine.

Results

Fifty-four patients met the inclusion criteria. We demonstrated that both the AOSpine score and the TLICS scores had a significant correlation for surgical management decision of spine trauma (p < 0.0001). We found a high concordance between surgical decision making in the pediatric clinical practice and the TLICS score. In our pediatric cohort, there were significantly more patients with TLICS ≥ 5 (n = 47, 87%) than with AOSpine score > 5 (n = 26, 46%, p < 0.0001). There were significantly more patients with TLICS ≥ 4 (n = 53, 98%), than with AOSpine score ≥ 4 (n = 42, 77%, p = 0.001).

ConclusionsThe TLICS score was significantly more appropriate than the AOSpine score, for the surgical treatment decision in children, especially when considering the future risk of sagittal imbalance.

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Correspondence to Federico Di Rocco.

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Dauleac, C., Mottolese, C., Beuriat, PA. et al. Superiority of thoracolumbar injury classification and severity score (TLICS) over AOSpine thoracolumbar spine injury classification for the surgical management decision of traumatic spine injury in the pediatric population. Eur Spine J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-020-06681-4

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Keywords

  • Spine injury
  • TLICS
  • Magerl
  • Surgery
  • Pediatric
  • Spine growth